The Briefing

Weekly business & investment updates curated for you.

Erbil Rotana

Abu Dhabi — The National Bank of Abu Dhabi announced that it will invest $10 billion in green projects over the next decade. The funds will be focused on projects in the area stretching from West Africa to East Asia, the bank announced. The commitment was calculated from internal research which identified a funding gap of $48 trillion over the next 20 years to meet global energy demand.

Abu Dhabi — The emirate of Abu Dhabi needs to invest around $2 billion in desalination of water in the next five years to keep up with water demand.

Dubai — The value of real estate investment by overseas buyers in Dubai in 2015 exceeded $36 billion, up 24% from $30 billion in 2014. According to Dubai Land Department's annual report, investments by GCC nationals in 2015 stood at $12 billion, with Emiratis accounting for $7 billion.

Egypt — UAE-based shopping mall developer Majid Al Futtaim has announced plans to develop a third city centre project in Egypt at an investment of over $509 million.

Egypt — China signed investment deals worth $15 billions with Egypt during a visit by President Xi Jinping and expressed support for Cairo's efforts to maintain stability.

Energy — Moody’s forecasts Brent crude, the international benchmark, to average $33 a barrel in 2016, down from $43 previously. The forecast for West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, has also been trimmed to $33 a barrel but from $40 previously.

Global Investment — A surge in socially responsible investments to $59 trillion globally over the past decade is nudging Asian firms to change a notoriously insular management style to one that actively addresses corporate governance concerns.

India — Japan's SoftBank plans to ramp up its investments to $10 billion in Indian start-ups. India can be bigger in momentum than China in next 10 years; 21st century belongs to India," the SoftBank CEO said.

India — The International Finance Corporation is supporting the government of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to implement a 750MW solar plant near Rewa. The IFC plans to help attract around $750 million of private investments, while also being supported through its partnership with the government of Australia’s Department of Foreign Trade.

Iran — Iran's emergence from economic sanctions will help Europe to diversify its energy supplies, but the Islamic Republic will need to invest at least $150 billion in infrastructure to become a major producer, the head of Italy's Eni said.

Jordan — Abu Dhabi green energy firm Masdar is investing around $300 million in a solar power project in Jordan, with more investments planned across the Middle East and North Africa. The company aims to double its total generating capacity in the next five to ten years.

Kenya — Standard Charted Bank forecasts Kenya's economy to grow by 5.8 percent in 2016 buoyed by heavy infrastructure investment by the government. The Bank's Chief Economist for Africa, Razia Khan, says interest rates will remain relatively stable in the medium term and will be begin to drop in the second half of 2016.

Mexico — The private equity arm of Goldman Sachs has teamed up with Mexican consulting firm Ainda to jointly invest in energy and infrastructure projects in Mexico. Ainda would invest up to $1.15 billion in projects with Goldman. The joint investments would be worth at least $100 million each and span the oil and gas, power generation, transportation and water infrastructure sectors.

Mexico — Mexico will invest $146 billion in electricity until 2029, but to attract the necessary capital it will need to finalize its power market plans and continue to signal policy stability to investors, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Morocco — The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) is targeting $9 billion in investment by 2020, according to a recent report by the World Future Council. By 2030, Morocco aims to generate 52 percent of its electricity from renewables, including 2 gigawatts each from solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, Morocco announced at the recent COP 21 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Mozambique — Portugal’s pulp and Paper Company Portucel says it has increased its forecast investment in a major forestry project in Mozambique to $3 billion from the initial $2.5 billion.

Nigeria — Foreign Direct Investment inflows to Nigeria and other Sub Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Angola, among others, fell by 31 per cent in 2015 to estimated $38 billion.

Oman — Tourism Development Company is in advanced stages of negotiations with a number of private sector players for investment in its $1.3 billion Port Sultan Qaboos Waterfront Project.

Philippines — Credit Suisse has lowered its economic growth forecast for the Philippines but still expects the country’s gross domestic product expanding above 6% in 2016.

Renewables — Doubling the share of solar, wind and other renewables in the energy mix would boost global economic growth by as much as 1.1 percent by 2030, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. The gains equal to $1.3 trillion would mostly come from increased investment, IRENA said in a report.

Renewables — With increasingly lower-cost solar photovoltaic modules helping the countries in Middle East and North Africa to diversify their energy mix, the region is set to attract $35 billion worth of renewable energy investments every year by 2020, stated experts from the International Renewable Energy Authority.

Renewables — Gulf countries stand to save as much as $87 billion from lower oil and natural gas consumption if they achieve goals for renewables use by 2030, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Meeting Gulf Cooperation Council targets for solar and other renewable energy could also create an average of 140,000 jobs a year, with 207,000 people employed in 2030.

Russia — DP World, one of the world's largest seaport operators, will invest $2 billion to upgrade port infrastructure throughout Russia. Under the agreement DP World will hold 80 percent in the new company while RDIF will hold the remainder.

Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka is targeting $5 billion foreign direct investments in the next three years, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade said.

Turkey — Turkey attracted more than $14 billion in FDI in the first 11 months of 2015 with an increase of 32.9 percent compared to the same time period of the previous year.

Vietnam — ACWA Power and its consortium partner Taekwang Power have signed investment agreement with the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade for the 1,200MW Nam Dinh 1 thermal power plant project. The $2.2 billion power plant is planned to be built in the Hai Chau and Hai Ninh communes in Hai Hau district, Nam Dinh province, and under the build-operate-transfer basis for 25 years.

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