Weekly Economic Update

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1 Weekly Economic Update Sunday, 13 May

2 Jan-11 Mar-11 May-11 Jul-11 Sep-11 Nov-11 Jan-12 Mar-12 % US$ Bn Weekly Economic Update Jan-11 Mar-11 May-11 Jul-11 Sep-11 Nov-11 Jan-12 Mar-12 Sunday, 13 May 2012 Recent Macroeconomic Developments Global China s trade growth continues to lose momentum China, the world s second richest nation, continues to experience sluggish growth in trade, with both imports and exports growth rates decelerating in recent months, caused largely by the economic crisis in Europe China s biggest trading partner. Exports grew at barely 5% in April, compared with 9% and 18% in March and February respectively, while imports remained flat in April as opposed to 5% and 40% growth rates in March and February, respectively. Despite the unsatisfactory trade performance, the overall trade balance in April remained positive, at $18.4 billion, due to the stagnation in imports. In contrast, domestic retail sales in China grew by 14.1% in April, reflecting policy makers determination to rebalance the economy away from external demand and towards internal demand. Even so, the growth rate of retail sales in April was lower than the 15.2% expected by analysts. Consequently, inflation eased to 3.4% in April, close to the monetary authorities target of 3.3%. More policy intervention may be needed to stimulate domestic demand if it is to play a leading role in driving China s future economic growth which has recently been slowing down China's Trade Data Trade Balance (RHS) Exports (LHS) Imports (LHS) Source: Thomson Reuters Chg Y/Y (LHS) China Retail Sales, Chg Y/Y (%) China's Inflation (%) Chg P/P (RHS)

3 Weekly Economic Update Sunday, 13 May 2012 Jan-08 Mar-08 May-08 Jul-08 Sep-08 Nov-08 Jan-09 Mar-09 May-09 Jul-09 Sep-09 Nov-09 Jan-10 Mar-10 May-10 Jul-10 Sep-10 Nov-10 Jan-11 Mar-11 May-11 Jul-11 Sep-11 Nov-11 Jan-12 Mar-12 May-12 Jan-11 Feb-11 Mar-11 Apr-11 May-11 Jun-11 Jul-11 Aug-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 % % Recent Macroeconomic Developments GCC Saudi Arabia: Central Bank continues to keep rates unchanged The Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (SAMA), the Kingdom s central bank, kept its repo and reverse repo rates unchanged in May, at 2% and 0.25% respectively. The repo rate is the discount rate at which banks borrow money from the central bank, while the reverse repo rate is the opposite, i.e. the rate at which the central bank borrows money from the banks in a bid to control money supply in the economy. Interest rates in the Kingdom have been at very low levels since 2009 and are expected to remain so for the foreseeable future, due to the dollar peg exchange rate system of Saudi Arabia. As a result, changes in SAMA s interest rates directly depend on changes in the US Federal Reserve s monetary policy rate, which is expected to remain at close to zero percent until The low interest rate in Saudi Arabia is a welcome development given the low inflation environment largely caused by the rapid decline in global food prices since 2009 and the recent recession in Europe which has weakened the demand for non-oil commodities. Inflation in the Kingdom marginally fell to 5.3% in April, from 5.4% in March, due to lower food price inflation which dipped to 4.3% in April from 5.1% in March (Jadwa) Saudi Arabia Policy Rates and Inflation Rate 2% 0.25% Saudi Arabia's Inflation Rate (ChgY/Y) Repo Rate Reverse Repo Rate Source: Thomson Reuters and Gulf One 3

4 Weekly Economic Update 11-Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr May Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr May-12 Sunday, 13 May 2012 COMMODITIES 122 Brent Oil Price (US$/barrel) 1670 Gold Price (US$/ounce) As May 11 (US$) Current Week Ago Weekly Change Brent Oil (barrel) Gold (ounce) Silver (ounce) Copper (pound) Aluminium (kilo) Source: Thomson Reuters 4

5 Weekly Economic Update Sunday, 13 May Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr May Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr May-12 Currencies Current ( 11 May 2012) Week Ago Weekly Change International $1 $1 (%) Euro GBP Yen CNY INR CHF GCC AED BHD Euro, Yen & Pound vs Dollar Euro (LHS) Pound (LHS) Yen (RHS) The Dollar Index KWD OMR QAR SAR Source: Thomson Reuters 5

6 Weekly Economic Update Sunday, 13 May 2012 Stock markets DowJones 1.67% 12,821 CAC % 3, NASDAQ 11.21% 2,934 FTSE % 5, S&P500 Nikkei % 1, % 8,953 Source: Thomson Reuters 6

7 Weekly Economic Update Sunday, 13 May May-12 Stock markets Abu Dhabi 0.91% , Kuwait 0.39% , Doha 1.40% 8,548 Muscat 1.72% 5, Dubai 4.23% 1,515 Saudi 3.07% 7,222 Source: Zawya 7

8 Weekly Economic Update Sunday, 13 May 2012 Stock markets Stock Exchange Current A Week Ago Weekly Change (11 May) (%) Dow Jones (US) 12,821 13, Nasdaq (US) 2,934 2, S&P500 (US) 1,353 1, CAC40 (FR) 3,130 3, FTSE100 (UK) 5,576 5, Nikkei225 (JP) 8,953 9, Abu Dhabi 2,478 2, Bahrain 1,160 1, Doha 8,548 8, Dubai 1,515 1, Kuwait 6,447 6, Muscat 5,746 5, Saudi Arabia 7,222 7, Source: Thomson Reuters and Zawya 8

9 Weekly Economic Update Sunday, 13 May 2012 Miscellaneous GULF projects Projects planned or under way Projects planned or under way Change on week (%) Projects planned or under way Change on year (%) 01-May May-11 ($m) ($m) ($m) Bahrain 63,874 63, , Kuwait 204, , , Oman 117, , , Qatar 229, , , Saudi Arabia 748, , , UAE 556, , , GCC 1,919,851 1,914, ,793, Iran 300, , , Iraq 315, , , Gulf Total 2,536,415 2,529, ,361, Source: MEED 9

10 Weekly Economic Update Sunday, 13 May 2012 Gulf One Investment Bank B.S.C. (c) ( Gulf One ) is a leading knowledge-based investment bank that is focused on providing professional and highquality infrastructure related investments for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Its mission is to mobilise local and global capital to accelerate the realisation of infrastructure projects and corporatisation through innovative financial solutions. Gulf One was jointly founded in 2006 by Dr. Nahed Taher, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Mr. Ziyad Omar, Chief Investment Officer (CIO). Headquartered in Bahrain, Gulf One operates under a conventional wholesale banking licence granted by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), CR This Weekly Economic Update has been prepared by staff in the Research Department of Gulf One under the general direction of Dr. Nahed Taher. The Research team comprises: Dr. Mohammed Salisu Chief Economist Gulf One Investment Bank Ms. Lobna Bousrih Research Analyst Gulf One Investment Bank Ms. Sana Harrabi Research Analyst Gulf One Investment Bank All comments and enquiries about this Weekly Economic Update should be sent to Dr. Mohammed Salisu at the above address. Disclaimer This Weekly Economic Update was prepared by Gulf One Investment Bank B.S.C. (c) ( Gulf One ) and is of a general nature and is not intended to provide specific advice on any matter, nor is it intended to be comprehensive or to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. This material is based on current public information that we consider reliable at the time of publication, but it does not provide tailored investment advice or recommendations. It has been prepared without regard to the financial circumstances and objectives of persons and/or organisations who receive it. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. In addition, the views expressed in this Economic Update do not necessarily represent the views of the Management or Board of Directors of Gulf One. This Weekly Economic Update or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the prior written consent of Gulf One. 10

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