Middle East & Africa

Is Qatar Benefiting From The Arab Spring?

Macro Watch: The dynamics of foreign exchange reserves in Arab countries suggest that capital has recently flowed from countries experiencing the Arab Spring (such as Egypt) to safer countries in the region (typically the Gulf States including Qatar) as political uncertainties have prompted investors to move their capital to safer havens. Qatar’s total international reserves [...]

Weak South African Rand: Risk To Inflation, Opportunity For Exports

Macro Watch: The South African Rand’s (ZAR) depreciation that started in early 2012 continues to be more pronounced since the beginning of March 2013. Although the South African Reserve Bank considers it to be a temporary trend, this development could have far-reaching effects on the country’s inflation, foreign trade, labour costs and flows of funds, [...]

CEIC News @lert: Strengthening of Egypt’s Currency Proves Unsustainable

CEIC News @lert: Egypt’s currency, the Egyptian pound (EGP), weakened by 4.6% in January alone, in spite of consistent intervention efforts by the Central Bank of Egypt, causing foreign-exchange (forex) reserves to drop by USD 1.4 billion to USD 13.6 billion at the end of the month. This correction in exchange rate valuation is not [...]

CEIC Chart@lert: Volatile Oil Price Affects Kuwait’s Economic Growth

CEIC Chart@lert: Oil is one of the major natural resources in Kuwait; petroleum production represented 62% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of the end of 2011. As such, it is unsurprising that the fluctuations in petroleum prices have a significant impact on the country’s overall economy. Chart provided by: CEIC Kuwaiti crude [...]

2013 Outlook For Kenyan Tea Market

Macro Watch Global: In order to stabilize tea prices and maintain sustainable production, six major players in the global tea market recently joined forces to establish the International Tea Producer’s Forum. Kenya, one of the founding members, would likely be a key beneficiary of this, as agricultural commodities trading forms one of the main pillars [...]

CEIC Chart@lert: Lebanon’s Exports Slowly Recovering From Syria’s Turmoil

CEIC News@lert: Syria’s turmoil, which was a result of the ongoing political and social unrest in the country, adversely affected the Lebanese economy in 2011. One of the gravest problems was the drop in exports by land through Syria, a transit route to Iran, Iraq and Turkey. However, during 2012 a slight improvement was observed [...]

CEIC News@lert: Disinflation in Yemen Prompts Lower Interest Rates

CEIC News@lert: While most Middle Eastern countries are currently suffering from high inflation rates, Yemen, against all odds, has successfully tamed its erstwhile double-digit inflation rates to a low of 5.47% year-on-year as of November 2012, from a recent peak of 24.77% during October 2011. The reduced inflation rates were largely attributed to the Yemeni [...]

Is Lebanon’s Economy Paying for Syria’s Turmoil?

Macro Watch Global: The unrest in Syria has had major repercussions for Lebanon’s economy. Export growth averaged 6% year-on-year during January to November 2012, which was still weak in comparison with the 24% export growth during 2010, subdued by the fall in Lebanon’s exports through Syria. The crisis saw Lebanon’s overland exports to Turkey, Syria, [...]

Oman’s Fiscal Surplus Triples

CEIC News@lert: The decline in oil production that accompanied the global economic and financial crisis reduced Oman’s budget balance significantly in 2009 (it moved from surplus into deficit). However, crude oil sales were one of the largest contributors to Oman’s government revenues, and by extension, its budget surplus in 2012. Due to an increase in [...]

Significant Impact from South African Mining Strikes

CEIC News@lert: South Africa is a very important producer of precious metals such as gold and platinum, holding a significant percentage of the global platinum group metals reserves. However, the mining sector has suffered from various problems during the past year, including labour strikes in the beginning of August across the gold and platinum producing [...]