Saudi Arabia plans benchmark-sized three-tranche bond

Saudi Arabia plans benchmark-sized three-tranche bond
Saudi Arabia plans benchmark-sized three-tranche bond

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Qatar’s non-energy private sector shows stability amid consistent demand: report

RIYADH: Qatar’s non-energy private sector demonstrated general stability in business conditions in December, as per the latest industry data. 

According to the Qatar Financial Centre’s Purchasing Managers Index survey, the PMI for December was 49.8, a slight decline from November’s 51.5. 

However, the annual PMI trend for 2023 stood at 52.4, closely aligning with the solid long-term average since 2017 of 52.3. 

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO of QFC, highlighted stable business conditions for Qatari non-energy firms in 2023, with financial services and manufacturing showing resilience.  

He said: “Survey data for the second half of the year suggest that annual growth in official GDP (gross domestic product) will have been maintained. Financial services continued to expand in December, and manufacturing also registered rising demand.” 

The index, derived from feedback received from approximately 450 private sector companies spanning manufacturing, construction, wholesale, as well as retail and services, serves as a representation of the non-energy economy structure, as indicated by national accounts data. 

Among the components of the headline figure, output, new orders, and stocks of purchases showed similar index readings, indicating stability compared to November. Positive contributions from employment were offset by shorter supplier delivery times. 

In December, the demand for goods and services in Qatar’s non-energy sector remained mostly stable, concluding a year of overall solid growth. 

Manufacturing and financial services, in particular, continued to experience robust new business, while total activity remained broadly unchanged, with financial services playing a pivotal role. 

Employment in Qatari firms continued to rise in December, extending a growth trend since March.  

Al-Jaida emphasized that the overall level of employment rose for the 10th consecutive month, and wages continued to increase, supporting consumer demand in the coming months.  

Input purchases saw a slight increase, while supplier delivery times shortened. Input prices rose slightly, primarily driven by wages and salaries, while output prices experienced a marginal decline, the report noted. 

As 2023 concluded, Qatari firms expressed positive expectations for 2024, although overall confidence was somewhat softer than the long-term survey trend. 

In the financial services sector, local companies recorded increased business activity and new contracts in December.  

The Financial Services Business Activity Index, adjusted for seasonality, posted 51.6, surpassing the overall private sector figure of 49.6, though it marked the lowest in over two years.  

Despite a slower increase in new business, demand remained solid, and the 12-month outlook for activity stayed positive. 

“The business outlook for the year ahead remains positive, although optimism has softened somewhat compared with the peak seen in the aftermath of the World Cup,” Al-Jaida concluded.  

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