MENA | Aramco pay-out; vaccination rollout; ‘Operation Dh300bn’

Saudi Aramco fulfilled its $75bn dividend pay-out promise in 2020, despite a
44% drop in profits. The company transferred SAR413bn to the government, a 30% decline from 2019 levels despite the budget deficit jumping to 11.6% of GDP. However, with oil prices rebounding to about $70pb earlier this month, we forecast the deficit will narrow to 1.7% of GDP this year.

What you will learn:

  • Vaccination efforts against Covid-19 are proceeding across much of the GCC, with the UAE leading the way by administering doses to around 50% of the population within four months of the roll-out beginning and expanding the programme to all citizens and residents aged 16 and above.
  • In an effort to boost the industrial sector, the UAE has launched ‘Operation Dh300bn’ which will see the industrial sector’s contribution to GDP rise from 1.3% to 2.0% over the next 10 years along with increased spending on research and development in the sector from Dh21bn to Dh57bn.
  • Saudi Aramco delivered on its $75bn dividend promise, withstanding disruptions to the oil market for the major part of 2020 due to the twin effects of the coronavirus pandemic and a price war with Russia.

Topics: GDP, MENA, Vaccine rollout, Vaccines

Aramco pay-out; vaccination rollout; ‘Operation Dh300bn’