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Our Take on the Hot Topics

NBAD's Global Markets team's analyses on the big stories of the moment across the region

Egypt – Quiet Progress

Hot Topics – 18 June 2017

While a number of major geo-political events such as the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling of the US elections, sabre-rattling by North Korea, Brexit and the more recent Qatar dispute, continue to take-up much of the global media headlines and analysis, Egypt has quietly been making progress on the economic front since it floated the pound and signed up to an IMF program late last year.(...)

Glenn Wepener, Executive Director & Geopolitical Analyst Middle East & Africa

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VAT in the GCC

Hot Topics – 1 June 2017

A quick primer on the VAT implementation in the GCC. There is of course much more information yet to come in terms of VAT – such as the granular details about how and when it will be implemented in each of the Gulf states. Please watch this space for further updates in this regard.

Alp Eke, Senior Economist
Omar Abdulhadi, Associate Director & Analyst

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Oman Markets Its Debut US$ Sukuk Issue

Hot Topics – 23 May 2017

Following on from its successful bond issue in March, the Sultanate of Oman is now back in the debt capital market – this time selling a debut 7-year sukuk transaction. NBAD’s Market Insights team has published its initial thoughts and relative value analysis in the attached document

Chavan Bhogaita
Managing Director and Global Head of Market Insights & Strategy

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Words of War – The ‘Un’-doing Of North Korea

Hot Topics – 01 May 2017

In 1962 the world came the closest it’s yet been to a nuclear war, fortunately cool heads eventually prevailed both in the White House and Moscow as diplomacy overcame sabre-rattling and the rest of humanity breathed a huge sigh of relief. Now in 2017 are we facing another ‘missile crisis’ which, with very different personalities making decisions in Washington and Pyongyang compared to Kennedy and Khrushchev, has the potential to lead us down a road where diplomacy takes a back seat this time round?

Glenn Wepener, Executive Director & Geopolitical Analyst Middle East & Africa

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Saudi King orders Cabinet reshuffle & restores allowances

Hot Topics – 24 April 2017

The King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz, issued a number of decrees this past weekend including a reversal of certain austerity measures and a minor cabinet reshuffle.

Glenn Wepener, Executive Director & Geopolitical Analyst Middle East & Africa

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Iraq Politics & Economics – The Next Battle

Hot Topics – 13 April 2017

Over the past few years, the primary focus for the Iraqi government – in tandem with its local and foreign partners – has been and remains working to defeat ISIS. They now appear close to achieving this goal. Reconstruction, dealing with the humanitarian crises and establishing political stability across the country will then be their next and probably even greater challenge.

Glenn Wepener, Executive Director & Geopolitical Analyst Middle East & Africa
Omar Abdulhadi, Associate Director & Analyst

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Saudi Arabia’s Pivot to Asia

Hot Topics – 23 March 2017

Asia was the prime destination for Saudi Arabia’s oil sales last year taking just under 70% of the country’s total crude exports. As the Kingdom adjusts its domestic and foreign strategic goals, a number of factors including King Salman’s three-week long tour of Asia and Saudi Aramco’s recent energy related acquisitions, suggest an increased focus on that region.

Glenn Wepener, Executive Director & Geopolitical Analyst Middle East & Africa

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Kuwait Prints $8bn of Bonds & Pledges Prudent Borrowing Strategy

Hot Topics – 14 March 2017

Following the successful issuance of $8 billion of bonds by the State of Kuwait, NBAD’s Market Insights team has published this report with their initial take on the transaction and brief relative value analysis versus other GCC sovereign debt.

Chavan Bhogaita, Managing Director and Global Head of Market Insights & Strategy

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Kuwait Minus Thirty

Hot Topics – 13 March 2017

The State of Kuwait has released initial details for its much anticipated jumbo bond issue. In this report our Market Insights team discusses the transaction and also provides some relative value analysis versus other GCC sovereigns.

Chavan Bhogaita, Managing Director and Global Head of Market Insights & Strategy

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Kenya – East African Power House Faces a Difficult 2017

Hot Topics – 03 March 2017

Despite an ongoing challenge by Ethiopia and Tanzania, Kenya has thus far managed to cling onto its spot as East Africa’s largest economy displaying a robust performance over the past few years, with 2016 proving to be no different as the country’s GDP expanded by 5.90%. However the year ahead could be a much more difficult one especially on the financial and political side.

Glenn Wepener, Executive Director & Geopolitical Analyst Middle East & Africa

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Fixed Income – Oman Successfully Prints $5bn in Bonds

Hot Topics – 02 March 2017

Oman not only joined the new issue party but made quite an entrance with its $5bn transaction yesterday – the largest ever single deal printed by the Sultanate. In this report we summarise details of the issue and provide some relative value comparisons versus other GCC sovereign paper.

Chavan Bhogaita, Managing Director and Global Head of Market Insights & Strategy

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Fixed Income – Oman Joins the New Issue Party

Hot Topics – 01 March 2017

The Sultanate of Oman has today announced initial price target information for its forthcoming 3-tranche bond deal. In this report we look at the key comparables within the GCC sovereign space and provide some relative value observations.

Chavan Bhogaita, Managing Director and Global Head of Market Insights & Strategy

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Nigerian Naira – Pressure Building

Hot Topics – 23 February 2017

With rumours of another possible Naira devaluation doing the rounds following the latest foreign exchange policy actions by the Nigerian Central Bank, we discuss the potential effect these changes may have and whether or not they will be enough to restore liquidity and confidence in the local currency.

Glenn Wepener, Executive Director & Geopolitical Analyst Middle East & Africa

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2016: A quick glance in the rear view mirror

25 December 2016

Just as we had all re-wired our brains to write 2016 instead of ’15 we realised that we were already part way into the year, and thereafter – as always – the months flew past. Here we are now, in the last few days of the year and bidding farewell to what has been a pretty eventful year in more ways than one.

Chavan Bhogaita, NBAD's Global Head of Market Insights & Strategy

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Oil – Which Way Is Up? - 27 September 2016

"Since January this year we have been warning about the growing risk of a potential oil price spike in the near to medium term (...)"

Tunisia Awaiting a Miracle - 24 August 2016

Following the peaceful “Jasmine” revolution of 2011, Tunisia struggles to replicate its political achievements on the economic front.

Turkey: A Bumpy Road Ahead - 25 July 2016

S&P downgraded Turkey further into junk status; Moodys & Fitch have put the country’s ratings under review.

US Elections 2016: Mathematics vs Hype - 19 July 2016

The reason we believe Clinton will win over Donald Trump is based on basic numbers.

Nigeria’s FX Policy: Radio Silence - 1 June 2016

Offshore investors are still waiting for clarity on the recently announced plan to switch to a more “flexible” exchange rate regime. We believe a continuation of the status quo is unlikely.

Saudi Arabia National Transformation Plan - 07 June 2016

The Saudi Council of Economic and Development Affairs approved the National Transformation Plan (NTP), a pivotal element of the Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia: All Change - 10 May 2016

The latest raft of ministerial changes is another step in the direction of diversification. Reforms promised are unprecedented.

Saudi Arabia's 2030 Vision – A Snapshot - 26 April 2016

The Kingdom’s “Vision 2030” plan involves a series of major economic and social reforms with ambitious targets

Abu Dhabi – additional steps towards diversification - 13 April 2016

Abu Dhabi authorities have announced additional levies that are likely to generate material incremental revenues for the Government.

Saudi Arabia – The Kingdom Strikes Back - 06 April 2016

Saudi Arabia has substantial assets, financial reserves, and a host of options in its ‘tool kit’ to get through the current challenges.

Egypt - Investors required - 15 March 2016

Egypt’s economy has suffered a severe downturn since the 2011 revolution as foreign investors and tourists deserted the country due to the subsequent social instability (...)

Angola - From boom to bust - 16 February 2016

Africa’s second largest oil producer relies almost entirely on crude oil sales which account for more than 75% of government revenues and 95% of the country’s foreign exchange inflows (...)

Iran's potential oil bonanza - 4 February 2016

There has been a lot of excitement and comment this past year about Iran’s full return to the oil and gas markets as sanctions are lifted and blocked overseas funds released.

Naira on the edge? - 12 January 2016

Nigeria’s Central Bank will no longer sell hard currency to the Bureaux de Change firms and allow commercial banks to resume accepting US dollar deposits.