Middle East and North Africa Top Business Stories – March 30

Oil Price – “Oil prices fell sharply on Monday, with U.S. crude briefly dropping below $20 and Brent hitting its lowest in 18 years, on heightened fears that the global coronavirus shutdown could last months and demand for fuel could decline further,” Reuters reports.

Dubai Expo – “The Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to be delayed by up to a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to sources familiar with the matter,” Gulf News/Reuters reports

Lebanon Economy – “Lebanon’s Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni warned that the country’s GDP could drop by 12 percent in 2020 due to the deteriorating conditions,” The Daily Star of Lebanon reports.

Saudi Oil – “Saudi Arabia has announced it will raise its oil exports to a record 10.6 million barrels per day starting from May amid an escalating price war with Russia,” Arabian Business/Bloomberg/AFP reports.

Turkey Banks – “Turkey’s banking sector recorded 15.1 billion Turkish liras ($2.4 billion) net profits as of end-February, the country’s banking watchdog said on March 30,” Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Israel/Aviation – El Al Chairman Eli Defes says that time is running out to save the airline, which seeks a $200-300 million state guaranteed loan, Globes of Israel reports.

Egypt/Coronavirus – “Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has told the relevant authorities to boost strategic reserves of staple goods, a presidency spokesman said on Monday, as global concerns about food security rise amidst the coronavirus crisis,” Reuters reports.


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