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Saudi Arabia announces $272 billion 2020 budget

Monday, 9 December 2019

Saudi Arabia’s 2020 budget will see an expenditure of 1.02 trillion riyals ($272 billion), compared to 1.05 trillion in 2019, and a revenue of 833 billion riyals, in line with pre-budget figures. The 2020 budget will include a deficit of 187 billion riyals. Meanwhile, the country’s economy is expected to grow 0.4 percent in 2019 and 2.3 percent in 2020. “This budget is a continuation of the government's policy to develop basic facilities and services for citizens, enhance ...

Biggest Saudi banks will be profitable despite low interest rates: Moody’s

Monday, 9 December 2019

National Commercial Bank (NCB), Al Rajhi Bank, and Saudi British Bank (SABB), the three largest banks in Saudi Arabia, will maintain their profitability despite lower interest rates impacting their margins, according to new research from credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. “SABB will be hardest hit because it must also absorb the costs of its merger with smaller peer Alawwal Bank, and NCB will face a similar pressure if its planned merger with Riyad Bank is ...

Oman’s economy shrinks 1.9 percent in first half of 2019

Monday, 9 December 2019

Oman’s economy shrank by 1.9 percent in nominal terms in the first half of 2019, hurt by a decline in the its non-oil sector, the country's central bank said in a report on Monday.Like many economies in the Middle East, Oman’s state finances have been affected by a recent slump in oil prices.This year’s economic decline emanated from the “non-petroleum industrial activities and services sector,” the report said. The non-oil part of the economy contracted 3.4 percent ...

Egypt considering three bond offerings during 2019-2020 FY: Finance minister

Monday, 9 December 2019

Egypt is considering issuing three bond offerings during the current 2019-2020 fiscal year, its Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on Monday.The possible offerings could include issuing green, Islamic and variable-yield bonds, he added during a local financial newspaper conference. 

China says hopes it can reach trade agreement with US as soon as possible

Monday, 9 December 2019

China said on Monday that it hoped to make a trade deal with the United States as soon as possible, amid intense discussions before fresh US tariffs on Chinese imports are due to kick in at the end of the week. Beijing hopes it can reach a trade agreement with the United States that satisfies both sides, Assistant Commerce Minister Ren Hongbin told reporters on Monday. “On the question of China-US trade talks and negotiations, we wish that both sides can, on the foundation of equality and ...

EU budget rules need rethink, says new commissioner

Monday, 9 December 2019

The EU’s new economy commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said the bloc should consider loosening its strict budget deficit rules to respond to climate risks and weak growth, echoing a similar call by French President Emmanuel Macron.The rules, which aim to enforce budgetary discipline among European Union members, were born out of the financial crisis and needed to be updated, Gentiloni told the Monday edition of the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.“We have different challenges now: the fight ...

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO: Le Maire

Sunday, 8 December 2019

France is ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on champagne and other French goods in a row over a planned French tax on internet companies, the finance minister said on Sunday.“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches US companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” French Finance ...

Egypt’s fuel subsidy bill drops by 69 pct year on year July-September: minister

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Egypt’s spending on fuel subsidies dropped by about 69 percent year on year to 7.25 billion Egyptian pounds ($451 million) in July-September, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said on Sunday.Egypt’s spending on fuel subsidies stood at 23.25 billion pounds in same period in 2018. Over the past three years, Egypt has phased out subsidies on most fuel products as part of an IMF-backed economic reform program. 

Another startup like Careem ‘highly likely’ in UAE: WEF MENA head

Sunday, 8 December 2019

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Middle East head believes it is “highly likely” that another startup like the ride hailing firm Careem will emerge from the United Arab Emirates. “You really have access to capital here if you are a good company, which is important … and there's, of course, many other opportunities in the digital economy, so I'm quite optimistic,” Mirek Dusek told Al Arabiya English in an exclusive interview. Dusek is the regional head of ...

Rouhani says Iran budget set to resist US sanctions by curbing oil dependence

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presented a draft state budget of about $39 billion to parliament on Sunday, saying it was designed to resist US sanctions by limiting dependence on oil exports, which Washington has targeted. US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran last year and reimposed sanctions on Iran, focusing on its vital oil industry. “This is a budget to resist sanctions ... with the least possible dependence on oil,” ...

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