• December 20, 2021

    Most cryptocurrencies decline in November due to worries over COVID-19 variant and regulatory pressures

    Most cryptocurrencies declined in November on the back of concerns over the new COVID-19 variant, tax-reporting requirement in the U.S infrastructure bill and China’s increasing clampdown on cryptocurrencies. Performance and Key Metrics Source: Refinitiv U.S’ USD 1 trillion infrastructure bill includes a provision for brokers to report information on crypto traders transacting an amount of over $10,000 to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). The lack of clarity in the bill on the term ‘broker’ raised doubts about the new regulations...

  • December 6, 2021

    Oil declines in November on concerns of lower demand owing to COVID-19 variant

    Oil prices declined steeply in November, marking its largest monthly decline since March 2020. The fall follows the multi-year high prices posted by the commodity in October. Concerns over lower demand on account of new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, and expectation of increase in supply due to release of Strategic Petroleum Reserves by the U.S pressured prices during the month. Performance of Oil Source: Refinitiv U.S plans to release about 50 million barrels of oil from its reserves. China, Japan, India,...

  • November 30, 2021

    Blue Chip Laggards in GCC Equity Markets

    The GCC Equity markets like the rest of the major world markets have been having a stellar run in 2021. Until November 21st the S & P GCC Composite Index has generated Year-to-Date (YTD) return of 35.6%, which has not been seen for many years in these markets. Valuation-wise, GCC composite index trades at P/E ratio of 23.3 and the current index value is still at a discount of 47.4% compared to its historical peak value. The performance of the...

  • November 9, 2021

    Kuwait leads GCC markets in October

    Kuwait was the best performing GCC market in October, supported by the rise in oil prices. The Boursa Kuwait All Share index registered gains for the eighth consecutive month, gaining 3.5% for the month and extended its yearly gains to 28.2%. Kuwait government had lifted precautionary restriction measures for COVID-19 from Oct 24, with certain conditions. Kuwait Market Performance Source: Refinitiv Among sectors, the Consumer Discretionary was the top gainer, rising 13.1% followed by Financial Services at 9.1%. Utilities sector...

  • September 28, 2021

    Private sector participation in Saudi Healthcare picks up pace

    Saudi Arabia has recently undertaken initiatives to increase private sector participation in its healthcare sector and improve competency of its healthcare workforce. The country has also highlighted key segments of focus in the healthcare sector. Saudi Arabia’s growing population with expected increase in average age and rising lifestyle related diseases are indicative of the uptrend in demand for healthcare in the country. As the Saudi Healthcare sector is predominantly operated by Ministry of Health (MoH), the demand could overload public...

  • September 22, 2021

    Economic Impact of Dubai Expo 2020

    Dubai Expo 2020 will have an impact on the economy through the infrastructure valued at more than USD 12 billion (versus USD 7.5 billion estimate in 2013) that is being spent to successfully build Expo 2020’s establishment. The event was postponed by a year to October 2021 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Dubai Expo 2020 will be the first world expo to be held in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia region. Expo 2020 will leverage the...

  • September 20, 2021

    Changing consumer habits amid COVID-19 accelerates decline of Saudi Arabia bank branches

    Bank branches operating in Saudi Arabia have reduced by 4.6% y/y in Q2 2021 to 1,969 branches (SAMA). The number of branches had been on a year-on-year declining trend since Q3 2020, with the current quarter posting the highest decline. The number of ATMs has also decreased by 9% y/y in Q2 2021. Operational considerations and uptake of digital banking, accelerated by COVID-19, seem to have contributed to the trend. Total Bank Branches in Saudi Arabia Source: SAMA According to...

  • September 12, 2021

    Profits at UAE’s major lenders reached USD 4 billion in H1 2021

    Profits at the four largest UAE banks rose during the first half of 2021 after an improvement in the operating environment led to lower loan-loss provisions, rise in non-interest income and improvement in operating efficiency. The combined net profit of four major banks, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Emirates NBD (ENBD), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), and Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) reached USD 4 billion in H1 2021, up 17% from the same period last year. The four big banks...

  • September 9, 2021

    OPEC+ September 2021 meet: Maintaining Status Quo

    Since the last OPEC+ meeting, conducted on July 18th, the global oil market has witnessed some significant events. There has been a surge in covid cases due to the new delta variant, causing government restrictions in key demand centers of the world, subsequently putting pressure on the global oil demand and prices. In the week ending 20th August, oil brent price witnessed its worst weekly drop of 8% landing at $65.18 bbl, its lowest since April’21. On the supply end...

  • September 9, 2021

    Could Delta variant play spoilsport for Oil prices?

    The Delta variant, which the WHO has called the most transmissible variant of the coronavirus, has caused a surge in covid-19 cases around the world. With a rise in cases, comes a rise in restrictions by the governments to curb the transmission. Travel restrictions in different parts of the world, is set to exert downward pressure on the global jet fuel demand. During the week ending 20th August, Brent crude oil price witnessed its biggest weekly loss this year of...