GULF WEEKLY: Aramco hiked dividends, Saudi Q4 GDP, UAE Q4 fiscal, Dubai PMI surges

GULF COUNTRIES - Report 15 Mar 2024 by Justin Alexander

A skimmable summary overlaid with our analysis and links. Headlines:

* Oil rose to $85 as the IEA’s latest forecast sees the market in deficit this year.
* US criticism of Israel intensified as Ramadan began without a ceasefire and with growing famine concerns.
* Hamas reduced its demands, through Qatari mediation, but Netanyahu still calls them unrealistic.
* Adnoc ended talks on investing in Israeli gas, and MAF’s revenue was hurt by a Carrefour boycott.
* Aramco hiked its quarterly dividends by 6% and provided guidance on further increases ahead.
* Saudi Arabia saw strong growth in Q4 in most non-oil sectors bar manufacturing and real estate.
* Dubai’s PMI surged to a nearly 5-year high of 58.5, and tourist numbers were up 20% y/y in January.
* Mubadala and G42 launched tech investment firm MGX, which may finance an OpenAI chip plant.
* Parkin’s IPO was covered 165 times and raised $428m.
* Qatari deposits jumped 2.9% in Jan to pass QR1trn, but Moody’s warned about asset quality.
* Oman was in surplus in January, with spending down -1% y/y despite new social protection benefits.
* The US ExIm bank guaranteed a $500m loan for oil drilling in Bahrain, over Democratic opposition.
* Mumtalakat is looking to sell a stake in McLaren, after investing nearly 10% of its assets in it.
* Databank updates: Saudi GDP, UAE and Oman fiscal, Saudi inflation, monthly oil and PMI data etc.

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