Recent data showed that Saudi Arabia recorded its largest current surplus since late 2014 in Q3 of last year as oil revenues boomed. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is recycling these surpluses into investments abroad. But given the continued failure to entice foreign investors, PIF will be increasingly leant on to finance gigaprojects in the Kingdom. Elsewhere, January’s batch of PMIs continued to point toward non-oil sectors in the Gulf growing more quickly than in the rest of the region. Finally, details of Egypt’s privatisation drive were unveiled with more firms set to be “floated” than previously expected which provides hopes that the government is taking this current effort more seriously than in the past.
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