November 2016

Gulf Industry magazine helps you catch up with the numbers behind economic and industrial developments in the region.

UAE non-oil private sector growth cools

THE growth of the UAE’s non-oil private sector eased in September, with business conditions improving at the weakest pace since June, said a survey.

The sector’s slowdown was largely reflective of a subdued expansion in new work – the latest rise was the least marked in over six years, stated the survey, sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit.

Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) contains original data collected from a monthly survey of business conditions in the UAE non-oil private sector. It is a composite indicator designed to give an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy.

According to the survey, job creation was also modest. That said, both output and purchasing rose sharply, suggesting that firms remain confident about the near-term outlook.

On the price front, competitive pressures led to lower purchase costs and output charges. The fall in the former ended a 17-month period of inflation, it stated.  

Commenting on the report, Khatija Haque, the head of Mena Research at Emirates NBD, said: “The sharp slowdown in new order growth last month appears to be due to weaker demand from external markets rather than soft domestic demand. Growth in output and purchasing activity remained strong.

Overall, the PMI data points to a faster rate of expansion in the UAE’s non-oil private sector in Q3 2016, compared to Q2.”  


Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade hits $176bn in H1

DUBAI’S non-oil foreign trade added up to Dh647 billion ($176 billion) during the first half (H1) of the year, with imports claiming the lion’s share at Dh401 billion, while exports and re-exports accounted for Dh74 billion and Dh172 billion, respectively, according to figures released by Dubai Customs.

The Emirate also saw a remarkable 17 per cent upsurge in the total volume of traded goods in the first half of 2016, rising as high as 49 million tonnes of commodities from 41 million tonnes the same period last year. The latest trade figures show that Dubai is progressing well in its plan to reduce reliance on oil revenues and move towards an economy that depends on foreign trade as well as other income sources.

“To offset the impact of the general slowdown in world economy, lower commodity prices and the slump in oil prices, Dubai has wisely restructured and broadened its sources of revenue while taking considerable measures to stimulate growth in the affected sectors,” said DP World Group chairman and CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem. Dubai, according to him, has early on realised that attracting foreign investments is a necessary step. 


Saudi tyre market forecast to grow at 11pc

GROWING automobile sales coupled with expanding vehicle fleet will drive the Saudi Arabian tyre market to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of over 11 per cent during 2016 – 2021, a report said. Improving macroeconomic scenario, growing vehicle fleet, increasing automobile sales and favourable government policies are some of the major factors anticipated to boost the demand for tires in the country over the next five years, added the report entitled “Saudi Arabia Tyre Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2021” from TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm. The cumulative sales of passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the country grew at a CAGR of 8.91 per cent during 2011-2015. On the basis of vehicle type, the tire market in Saudi Arabia has been segmented into five categories, namely, passenger car, medium and heavy commercial vehicle, two-wheelers, off-the-road and light commercial vehicle. In 2015, passenger car segment dominated the country›s tyre market.


Oman, Iran bilateral trade to reach $5bn

THE bilateral trade between Oman and Iran is expected to grow to $5 billion in the next five years from the current total of $1 billion, said a report. The volume of trade between Oman and Iran is increasing and the sultanate is in a better position to benefit from the opening of Iranian market after the recent lifting of sanctions, Dr Amir Kordvani, head of Iran desk and projects for the Middle East, CMS Cameron McKenna, was quoted as saying in a Times of Oman report.

Dr Kordvani, while addressing a seminar on foreign investment in Iran, said that Omani companies are in a strong position to benefit from opportunities in the Iranian market and are currently involved in a number of high-profile projects. Dr Kordvani noted that Omani investors can look at investment opportunities in hotels in Iran as the local businessmen here have a lot of experience in the hospitality sector.

He also pointed out that several projects, including Iran-Oman gas pipeline, Iran-Oman shipping line and a $250 million worth of shopping mall (to be developed by Omani investors in Iran) are expected to further strengthen economic cooperation of both countries, added the report.


Smart water metering market to top $5.5bn

THE smart water metering market is expected to grow from an estimated $3.88 billion in 2016 to $5.51 billion by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.23 per cent, according to a report.

Factors such as increasing focus towards reducing non-revenue water, retrofitting of aging water infrastructure, and the need for accurate billing are driving the market globally, added the report  from MarketsandMarkets. Dominant players are trying to penetrate developing economies and are adopting various methods to grab the market share, it said. Meters and accessories will be the dominant component-based segment in the global smart water metering market, said the report. 


Distribution transformers market seen at $16bn

HE global distribution transformers market is set to rise from $13.74 billion in 2015 to $16.67 billion by 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5 per cent, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report said that the need to expand and upgrade existing distribution infrastructure to serve the growing demand for electricity will lead to a positive growth of the distribution transformers market over the forecast period.

In the emerging economies of Asia-Pacific (APAC) and the Middle East, extensive power plant capacity additions, economic growth, and the need to improve access to electricity are driving grid expansion and the distribution transformers market, added the report. Swati Gupta, analyst covering power at GlobalData, said: “There have been comparatively low new distribution transformers installations in North America, while most of the market growth is contributed by the replacement market wherein the older transformers – more than 25 years-old – are being replaced with new.”

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