Middle East and North Africa Top Business Stories – April 3

Oil Markets – “The OPEC+ coalition is rushing to pull together a meeting of its members – and possibly other oil producing nations – after President Donald Trump called for a coordinated production cut to stem the historic rout in crude prices,” Bloomberg/Gulf News reports.

Aviation – “The International Air Transport Association (Iata) urged governments to “act faster” to provide financial relief for airlines in the Middle East and Africa, as their collective passenger revenue losses increase to $23 billion (Dh84.48bn) due to the Covid-19 outbreak,” The National reports.

Egypt/Aviation – “Egypt’s airline industry faces a potential loss in revenue of $1.6 billion and 9.5 million fewer passengers due to the coronavirus crisis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said,” Ahram Online reports.

Kuwait/Agility – “Kuwait’s Agility, one of the biggest Middle East logistics companies, is taking measures to cut costs and preserve cash as the novel coronavirus pandemic slashes global air freight demand and capacity,” The National reports.

Aviation/Emirates – “Emirates has announced that the airline has received approvals to carry passengers on certain flights, which will start from April 6. The initial flights will commence from Dubai to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels and Zurich, with four flights a week to London Heathrow, and three flights a week to the other cities, the airline said,” Gulf Daily News reports.

Libya/Central Bank – “The Head of the Libyan Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj has called on the administration of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) to attend an emergency meeting to take necessary and urging measures to unite the CBL,” Libya Observer reports.

UAE/Mubadala – “The venture capital arm of Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala plans to launch a healthcare fund next year to tap into increased demand for investment in life sciences and digital health technology following the coronavirus outbreak,” Reuters/Al-Arabiya Business reports.

Morocco – “‘Give us our money,’ demands a group of home buyers, standing on land that should by now be finished condos — one of many fictitious projects that together comprise what is described as Morocco’s biggest-ever property scam,” AFP/Arab News reports.

Iraq/Coronavirus –  “Iraq has thousands of confirmed COVID-19 cases, many times more than the 772 it is has publicly reported, according to three doctors closely involved in the testing process, a health ministry official and a senior political official,” The Baghdad Post reports.

Iran/Coronavirus – “Iran’s death toll from the new coronavirus rose on Friday to 3,294 as it claimed 134 lives in the past 24 hours, according to Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpur,” Reuters reports.

Egypt/Suez Canal – “Traffic in Egypt’s Suez Canal has not been affected so far by the spread of the new coronavirus, the chief of its authority, Osama Rabie, said on Wednesday,” Albawaba reports.

Qatar – “Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, hired banks to raise more than $5 billion in bonds as early as next week to shore up its finances against the global coronavirus pandemic and oil-price war,” Bloomberg/Daily Star of Lebanon reports.


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