• April 26, 2021

    FAQ’s: Break-even Oil price

    1. What is Break even oil price? What does an increasing or decreasing BEOP mean? Fiscal breakeven oil price (BEP) can be defined simply as the “oil price that balances an oil‐exporting country’s budget. Ever since the fall of Brent crude prices in mid – 2014, the GCC countries have envisioned various plans to reduce their dependence on oil revenues. The COVID-19 pandemic sent oil prices tumbling owing to a global lockdown and travel restrictions in place since March 2020....

  • January 12, 2021

    Vaccine approval helps GCC markets recover most of the year’s losses

    GCC stocks staged a strong recovery towards the end of the year after seeing a sharp fall in March and April due to oil prices crashing and fears of sharp economic slowdown due to Covid-19. The benchmark S&P GCC Composite index recovered from the lows and ended the year with a fall of just 1.7%. GCC markets rose in November after pharmaceutical firms Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca announced favorable news on COVID-19 vaccine development. Subsequently, several governments including many GCC...

  • January 10, 2021

    A recap of Global Markets in 2020

    Global stocks staged a quick recovery from the March lows The year began with global stock markets reaching new highs in February. However, global markets saw massive falls in March as the COVID-19 outbreak became a global pandemic. At its lowest point in March, the S&P 500 saw a drawdown of 34% from the record highs seen just a month earlier in February. However, the index recovered the losses and reached new highs by October in a mere time span...

  • October 15, 2020

    Flurry of Bond issuances – How are GCC countries placed?

    The year 2020 has seen bond issuances totaling USD 42billion so far by GCC governments as they try to raise funds in the market to plug record deficits due to the oil price crash and the COVID-19 crisis. GCC Sovereign yields have come down since the market selloff in March at the height of the crisis. As on October 6, 10-year yields for Kuwait Government bonds stands at 1.48% (a fall from 2.37%, 2020-start) while that of Saudi Arabia, Abu...

  • October 14, 2020

    COVID-19 derails traditional Kuwait retailers

    Kuwait’s retail sector is small in absolute terms when compared to regional peers like the UAE or Saudi Arabia. However, Kuwait has one of the highest concentrations of international retailers in the GCC, with luxury segment proving to be a major draw. The value of Kuwait’s retail market was KD 3.5bn or 9.1% of non-oil GDP, as of February 2018 (Oxford Business Group). Consumer preference towards international brands and better retail shopping experiences were exhibiting an upward trend until COVID-19...

  • October 12, 2020

    How deep is the impact of COVID-19 on the GCC aviation industry?

    Tourism has been one of the focus areas of GCC countries’ diversification agenda and aviation sector in the region has been an attendant beneficiary. Closure of borders and travel restrictions were one of the first measures taken by countries around the world to curtail the spread of COVID-19. These measures had brought the aviation industry to standstill. According to IATA, revenue of airlines in GCC region is expected to decline by 56% in 2020 and while the passenger numbers are...

  • October 5, 2020

    Saudi Arabia Banking Sector – The worst might not be over yet

    COVID-19 pandemic has pressurized banking asset quality and increased the demand for credit. As signs of normalcy returns, banks face the challenging task of managing the asset quality while expanding balance sheets. The strength of a country’s banking sector is often reliant on its underlying economic conditions. As is the case for Saudi Arabia, which has the second largest banking industry in the GCC by total assets, with roughly 29% of the region’s total banking assets. According to estimates from...

  • September 1, 2020

    Has Coronavirus cases peaked in the World and GCC

    The outbreak of novel Coronavirus across the globe, which affected lives of millions of people continues to take its toll on the global economies. With more than 7-8 months into the crisis the virus is still omnipresent. It forced countries to adopt control measures like lockdown, curfew, social distancing, masks etc. As a result of which many countries have been successful in curbing the rate of spread and have also moved past the peak in terms of maximum confirmed cases...

  • July 26, 2020

    Online Education for School Children in the GCC

    As children and parents in the GCC get a taste of remote schooling due to the impact of COVID-19, there are multiple themes emerging. It is a given that learner cohorts are very different, which means that felicity with computers vary significantly. Remote learning, especially for young children, is a complex affair due to the influx of technologies,various software, and communication capabilities of stakeholders involved. The GCC education sector’s response to COVID-19 quarantine needs to be judged objectively. It is...

  • July 21, 2020

    Estimating Corporate CapEx in Saudi Arabia

    COVID-19 has been a double whammy for the Saudi Arabian economy. First, the lockdown and curfew measures has affected the economic activity. Second, because of global lockdown, oil prices fell with the demand for oil falling sharply. Therefore, the output of Saudi corporate sector is also expected to be very much low for the year 2020 if not beyond. Average Fixed Capital Assets held by Saudi Listed Companies(2015-2019) Saudi listed companies held fixed capital assets measured by the average outstanding...