New MENA Monthly
On a roll
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) attracted 71 new companies with investments amounting to USD 733M in 2017 (2.1% of GDP).
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) cut interest rates by 100 bps and maintained its stance to achieve the inflation target of 13% (+/- 3%) in Q4 2018.
Independent groups joined together under an umbrella called the “Watani Alliance,” are expected to contest established parties in this year’s parliamentary elections in Lebanon.
The UAE is embracing Chinese payment solutions by beginning to accept Alipay, one of China’s top mobile payment platforms similar to PayPal, with more than half a billion users.
New Country Views
Egypt: Change ahead, not through ballot box
Growth is forecast at 5.5% for 2018/19 compared to 4.5% for 2017/18, a sign that reform measures such as floating the currency are starting to pay off.
Measures including the adoption of a new system to attract regular and charter flights led to an increase in the number of tourist arrivals in 2017.
We expect President Sisi to extend his term in office, and as an assurance to foreign investors, any violence associated with the elections to be broadly under control.