• September 7, 2020

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

    As optimism grows over the reopening of economies worldwide, the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the banking sector might not be over yet. 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 Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s economy is...

  • 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 27, 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...

  • 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...

  • July 20, 2020

    Defensive sectors in GCC-A great bet in today’s times

    The 2020 stock market crash due to Covid-19 has been fast and short, if the markets do not fall to the lows of March 2020 again. The Oil price crash and social distancing measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 has impacted sectors in the GCC in different ways.This can be observed in the current level of GCC Sector Indices. We make a comparison of the current levels of GCC sector indices with that of 52-week high and 52-week lowto...

  • July 14, 2020

    How has liquidity in Saudi Tadawul fared during COVID-19?

    Liquidity is one of the key indicators of a stock market and is a fundamental requirement for market efficiency. In recent years, Saudi Arabia’s equity market has implemented reforms, such as relaxation of foreign ownership and has achieved milestones such as inclusion in key indices including the MSCI Emerging Market Indices. With the listing of Saudi Aramco, it has also become one of the top 10 markets globally, by market capitalization. Given the market’s importance in GCC and globally, the...

  • July 12, 2020

    COVID-19 brings to the fore GCC’s Fiscal Vulnerability

    Revenue from oil forms significant portion of overall revenue for GCC countries, with 20-year(2000-2019) average at 74%. This dependence on oil as revenue source has long been a pain point for GCC’s fiscal position, surfacing during periods of low oil prices and receding during periods of high oil price.In the backdrop of fall in oil prices due to COVID-19, building a sustainable fiscal policy in GCC has resumed higher importance. Ascend to Prosperity Referred to as black gold, oil has...

  • July 9, 2020

    COVID-19 may force GCC companies to cut dividend payout

    Dividend payments have been an important tool to get investors to buy shares of companies as dividends provide a return on investment even during periods when the markets are down. GCC Companies listed on stock exchanges have provided consistent dividends in recent years. Due to Covid-19, many GCC Companies may be forced to cut dividend payouts due to fall in earnings and need to preserve cash. We examine the impact on dividends due to the pandemic and its ramifications for...

  • July 7, 2020

    COVID-19: GCC has mostly resorted to monetary measures

    The COVID-19 led health and economic crisis has pushed many governments around the world to respond with a wide armor of fiscal and monetary actions that far exceed the measures taken in the past when the Global Financial Crisis happened in 2009. The measures were announced in a quick and concerted manner across the developed countries, emerging countries, and less developed countries. GCC countries also acted with alacrity in providing stimulus measures: to meet the COVID-19 Impact that hit them...