GCC economic strengths ‘make it ideal investment destination’
Strong Economy, low debt, lack of currency risk and high reserves make the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region stand out as an attractive investment opportunity, a webinar heard.
These Attributes also differentiate GCC from other emerging markets (EMs), the webinar hosted by Kuwait Financial Centre ‘Markaz’ said.
The Webinar titled ‘GCC Markets: An Attractive EM Allocation Play,’ was presented by M R Raghu – CEO, Marmore MENA Intelligence, the research arm of Markaz.
GCC Equities are also generally considered a strong oil play by certain fund managers due to their economic growth being largely driven by oil revenues, it said.
The Weightage of GCC stocks in the MSCI EM index witnessed a steep rise from 0.85 percent at the end of 2014 to 7.3 percent at the end of April 2023. The favourable economic and business environment in the GCC is likely to increase the weightage of GCC companies within the MSCI EM index in the years ahead.
GCC markets have a strong pipeline of IPOs, mainly focusing on State-owned entities. These companies are likely to expand the presence of GCC companies forming a part of the MSCI EM index.
The Webinar concluded with the key takeaway that GCC markets present an interesting island of opportunities within the emerging market space that can be tapped by fund managers.
UAE exports forecast to reach $545bn by 2030
The UAE’s exports are projected to reach Dh2 trillion ($545 billion) by 2030, with trade growing faster than the global average as the Emirates focuses on developing new trade corridors and diversifying its exports.
The Country’s exports are projected to increase by 5.5 percent annually, with metals and minerals (accounting for 73 percent of exports by 2030) and plastics and rubbers set to drive growth, Standard Chartered said in a report on Thursday.
The Projection is higher than the bank’s previous estimate of the UAE’s exports reaching Dh1.1 trillion by 2030.
Meanwhile, the global trade industry is expected to reach Dh120 trillion by 2030, with a projected growth rate of 5 percent, it said.
UAE, Türkiye ratify comprehensive partnership agreement
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said on Wednesday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Türkiye had ratified a comprehensive partnership agreement.
“This deal marks a new era of cooperation in our long-standing friendship and will help push bilateral non-oil trade beyond $40 billion (TL 828 billion) in the next five years,” the minister said in a tweet.
Ties between Türkiye and the Arab world are experiencing a major thaw after years of tense relations. However, the two countries have seen their ties affected by regional tensions, including the conflict in Libya, where the UAE and Türkiye have backed opposing sides in recent years.
Travel and tourism sector adds dh167 billion
The Travel and tourism sector’s contribution to the UAE’s gross domestic product grew 60.2 percent in 2022 to nearly Dh167 billion, it was revealed on Tuesday, and is set to reach Dh180.6 billion by the end of 2023, an 8.3 percent growth over the previous year.
An Economic Integration Committee meeting, chaired by Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and attended by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, discussed a range of key economic issues, including access to legislation supporting the growth of new economy sectors in the UAE, as well as cooperation between the federal and local authorities concerned with the implementation of these laws.
In his opening speech, the economy minister reviewed prominent economic growth indicators achieved by the UAE in 2022, including GDP growth that totalled Dh1.62 trillion at constant prices, up 7.6 percent, whereas current prices reached Dh1.86 trillion, growing by more than Dh337 billion, up 22.1 percent from 2021.
Oman’s Sultan in Iran for talks on diplomatic, security issues
Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said arrived in Tehran on Sunday for a two-day visit expected to focus on regional diplomatic and security issues, Iranian state media said, two days after Muscat mediated a prisoner swap between Iran and Belgium.
Oman has long been an interlocutor for the West with Iran and has mediated the release of several foreign citizens and dual nationals.
On Friday, Oman helped to secure the release of a Belgian aid worker, who was arrested in 2022 and sentenced to 40 years in prison and 74 lashes on charges including spying, in exchange for an Iranian diplomat sentenced to 20 years in prison in connection with a failed bomb plot in France.
Qatar’s growth set to ease after strong world cup year
The Winds of fortune are blowing favourably for Qatar’s economy. Demand for the country’s key commodity, natural gas, is soaring as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reshapes the global energy market.
The Success of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Doha has pushed tourism and non-oil economic activity to new highs, just as easing political tensions in the region are opening up new opportunities for Qatari businesses.
This Set of conditions is contributing to punchy gross domestic product (GDP) growth. In 2022, Qatar’s economy expanded by 4.8 percent, thanks in large part to the outsized impact of the World Cup. This is mirrored in the performance of the non-hydrocarbon sector, which grew by 6.8 percent — its fastest rate of expansion since 2015, according to Oxford Economics.
Encouragingly, the positive after-effects of a robust 2022 have filtered through to the opening months of this year. In February, the country enjoyed the highest number of international arrivals, outside of the period of the World Cup, in the past 10 years, while tourism numbers over January and February combined were up 347 percent on a year-on-year basis, according to government figures.