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Bahrain News and Analysis

Manama financial district, Bahrain

Bahrain economic growth to slow further in 2016Subscription

Inflation will also rise as economic reforms are introduced

Saudi Arabia currency

GCC to defend currency pegsSubscription

GCC states have adequate reserves to maintain pegs for years

Sewage treatment plant

Bahrain invites bids for Tubli sewage plant expansionSubscription

Expansion project will double capacity of existing wastewater plant

Missile

GCC states initiate joint missile defence Subscription

Move seen as direct response to Iran’s programme

Abu Dhabi capital city of the UAE

GCC edges closer to finalising VAT lawsSubscription

The planned tax can be introduced as soon as any two of the GCC members are ready to implement it

Bahrain

Bahrain raises fuel prices as part of ongoing reformsSubscription

Manama looking to significantly decrease subsidy costs in 2016

Riyadh

GCC to hold extraordinary meeting on Iran rowSubscription

Foreign ministers to meet in Riyadh on 9 January to discuss growing tensions with Iran

Bahrain

Bahrain to generate $453m from subsidy cutsSubscription

Move to limit public spending comes as government revenues fall

Saudi embassy in Iran stormed by protesters

UAE downgrades diplomatic ties with IranSubscription

Bahrain also follows Saudi Arabia by announcing removal of Iranian ambassador

Oman seeks interest in Duqm acetic acid plant

Oman Central Bank refrains from interest rate hikeSubscription

Sultanate’s central bank does not see a need to lift key interest rates

Riyadh

Four Gulf states increase interest rates on US Fed moveSubscription

Key interest rates raised following the first US interest rate hike in almost a decade

Syria

Gulf coalition mulls sending special forces into SyriaSubscription

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE are among coalition partners discussion the plans

Dubai housing

Fund sells off $360m real estate portfolioSubscription

GCC logistics and retail assets performed well

Refinery

Bahrain awards management deal for refinery modernisationSubscription

Australia’s WorleyParsons to manage contractors for Bahrain’s largest oil project

The Villamar development (left) in Manama's central business district in Bahrain

Engineering consultant appointed on stalled Bahrain Project Subscription

Danish firm to oversee construction process on $700m Vilamar project 

Bahrain's Gulf Air

Gulf Air revives aircraft order Subscription

Restructured $7.6bn order includes 45 narrow-body and wide-body aircraft from Airbus and Boeing

The IMF estimates that on average, the richest 20 per cent of a nation benefits six times more from subsidies than the poorest 20 per cent

Cut subsidies and increase efficiencySubscription

Cheaper crude has convinced many regional governments to reform energy subsidies, a vital step towards changing the region’s wasteful habits    

Youth bulge

Harnessing the youth bulgeSubscription

The increasing proportion of young people in the region means governments can achieve rapid economic growth through prudent job creation

Nakheel: Palm Jumeirah

GCC contract awards to fall in 2016Subscription

A sharp decline of 15 per cent is forecast for contract awards in the region, although a series of major contract awards in Dubai provides some cause for optimism

majeed karim

Energy trading in GCC moves step closerVideoSubscription

The GCC wants to extend its electricity grid to be able to export and import energy beyond the bloc

Qatar seeks further prices from Facility D independent water and power plant bidders

Acwa Power gains further ground in GCC developer rankingsSubscription

UK/French Engie retains the number one spot in MEED’s 2015 GCC developer ranking

More sovereign wealth funds are planning to increase their allocations for real estate investment. For example, the Qatar Investment Authority has bought Canary Wharf in London

Fiscal tightening creates pressure on sovereign wealth fundsSubscription

GCC governments are facing major fiscal deficits and are starting to draw down on their wealth funds to finance shortfalls

Hamad Port

The best and worst ports in the regionSubscription

The shipping industry in the Middle East and North Africa is recording solid growth, but such statistics mask the large gap between the best and the worst ports

Bahrain puts banks into administration

Bahrain’s modest reserves backed by Saudi Arabia’s support Subscription

Kingdom has received guarantees from Saudi Arabia, which is committed to helping it alleviate the impact of falling hydrocarbon prices

Commercial bank branches in Mena region

A region lacking in banking accessSubscription

Populations in Middle East and North African countries would benefit from far more extensive branch networks