2 Brief Overview Fiscal deficit deteriorates despite increase in foreign grants, and excess liquidity drops Fiscal deficit deteriorates despite increase in foreign grants, and excess liquidity drops International MENA Region Local Economy Amman Stock Exchange Amman Stock Exchange Local Debt Monitor Local Debt Monitor Prime Lending Rates Prime Lending Rates Markets overview New and analysis US: Treasury yields higher but remained volatile, as job report failed to end uncertainty over Fed tapering Eurozone: ECB rules out stimulus despite weaker economic outlook Japan: Skepticism remains after Abe finally reveals his ‘third arrow’ Major Indices: Latest data eases concerns that Fed will soon pull back its stimulus Commodities and Currencies: Gold sea-saws, and sterling gains on the dollar Central Bank Meeting Calendar Interest Rate Forecast The Week Ahead Egypt: Treasuries stabilize as FX reserves reaches 16 month high GCC News Highlights GCC interbank rates Comparative MENA Markets UK: BoE holds rates as King concludes his last meeting, though expectations for future stimulus continue
4 Treasuries remain volatile amid uncertainty over Fed tapering, but yields ended the week on a high after the US jobs report US jobs data showed the economy is growing, but probably not by enough to prompt the Fed to quickly dial back on its bond buying. Yet, the data failed to truly provide guidance over Fed QE tapering, and could still indicate that the central bank could start to scale back its bond-buying program in Q4. On Friday, the yield on the 10-year US Treasury was up 9bp at 2.17% - somewhat unchanged on the week. At one stage on Thursday, it dipped below 2%.
5 The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in May, according to the Department of Labor, maintaining the slow but steady gains of recent months. It marks a slight improvement from April, when a revised 149,000 jobs were created, but still falls in line with average job growth over the last three years Revisions to March and April figures show that the economy added 12,000 fewer jobs than originally reported during those months, leaving the three-month average at 155,000 down from above 200,000 in April. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.6% in May from 7.5% in April. That minor rise came as 420,000 people joined the labor force -- an encouraging sign that some formerly discouraged workers may be re-starting their job searches. Job growth is still a bit weaker than desired at this stage, but the fact that it is holding up despite the exceptionally strong headwinds of higher taxes and sharp government spending cuts, is an indication that the labor is still maintaining momentum. U.S. jobs data: Employers are hiring at a restrained pace as concerns linger.
6 The report likely keeps the Federal Reserve on its current monetary- policy path as it contemplates pulling back on its on its $85-billion-a- month bond-buying program later this year. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said last month that the central bank could start slowing its bond purchases at one of its "next few meetings" if the economy continues to improve. Friday's report appeared to ease concern among stock investors that the central bank would soon pull back on stimulus. This data is not weak enough to put QE tapering in September off the table and not strong enough to confirm it – hence it remains up to incoming data. Payroll growth picked up in April and May after an initially reported slowdown in March employment, which had raised worries about economic trouble in the spring. The May payroll increase was in line with the average job gain of 172,000 over the past 12 months. Despite the gains in recent months, 11.8 million workers who wanted a job couldn't find one last month. A broader measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those forced to work part time was 13.8%. US jobs data: Data still allows for the possibility of September QE tapering May 7.6%
7 U.S. factories in May posted their worst month since June 2009, as weakness overseas overwhelmed a still-shaky manufacturing recovery at home. The Institute for Supply Management on Monday said its broad index, in which any reading below 50 indicates contraction, fell to 49 from 50.7 in April—the first decline since November. The ISM report showed weakness across the board, with current production declining, employment remaining stagnant, and new orders falling—an especially worrisome sign because it provides little hope for improvement in the months ahead. This was mitigated a bit by a better-than-expected ISM for non-manufacturing. Which supports the expectations that the weakness in manufacturing was externally driven rather than reflecting softer domestic demand. Meanwhile, data this week showed that appetite for foreign goods pushed imports higher and widened the U.S. trade deficit in April, while slower growth abroad restrained overseas demand for U.S. products. Imports rose 2.4% from March and exports increased just 1.2%, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. As a result, the nation's trade gap expanded by 8.5% from March to $40.3 billion. U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly falls
8 The U.S. economy has continued to expand at a modest pace, supported by a resurgent housing sector and gains in manufacturing, the Federal Reserve said in a report Wednesday. The Fed's "beige book" survey, a summary of economic conditions across the central bank's 12 districts, said the Dallas Fed's district reported "strong" economic growth, while the 11 others reported "modest to moderate" growth. The economic snapshot, based on anecdotal information gathered through late May, will be one of many reports Fed officials weigh ahead of their next policy meeting on June 18-19. Many analysts believe the economic recovery is gaining traction, though they expect it to temporarily level off in the coming months as a package of government spending cuts known as the sequester weighs on output. Some recent data suggest U.S. economic growth is slowing in the second quarter after expanding at a 2.4% seasonally adjusted annual rate between January and March. The beige book, however, struck a more optimistic note. It said manufacturing "expanded in most this is not as downbeat as might have been expected following the ISM survey released on Monday. Fed report suggests U.S. economy continues to grow at a modest pace
9 Volatility in peripheral bonds continues, as ECB left rates unchanged seeing no reason for additional measures German government bond yields rose for a third week as ECB President Mario Draghi said the region’s economy should return to growth later this year, damping demand for fixed- income assets. Germany’s benchmark 10-year yield rose four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, this week to 1.55% after increasing to 1.57% on June 3, the highest level since Feb. 25. Spanish and Italian yields also rose as Draghi also said after the ECB’s monthly policy meeting that he saw no reason for any “immediate” additional measures to lower borrowing costs. Spain’s 10-year yield climbed 11 basis points this week to 4.55%, while Italy’s increased three basis points to 4.19%.
10 ECB rules out stimulus, keeping its rate unchanged The European Central Bank took no new steps to boost the eurozone's economic prospects despite forecasting an even-deeper recession this year and low inflation in 2014, putting its stimulus tools "on the shelf.“ Officials kept their key lending rate unchanged at 0.5%, a record low, as expected. At the press conference following the meeting Mr. Draghi indicated that the discussion in the Governing Council was not on whether to cut rates or not. Instead, focus was on whether there had been enough changes to warrant action. The view that recent data didn't justify more ECB stimulus was taken by "consensus," Mr. Draghi said, suggesting that some council members felt the economic and inflation backdrop warranted more stimulus measures. Still, the ECB stands "ready to act" if needed, he said. Instead, Mr. Draghi put pressure on governments to revamp their economies and shrink debt burdens, warning political leaders they may be "punished" by investors if they use the relative calm in markets compared with recent years as an excuse to delay overhauls. The ECB board discussed other options to spur private lending such as negative deposit rates and programs to boost small-business lending, Mr. Draghi said, and while the ECB is technically ready, these measures remain "on the shelf.“
11 Eurozone: Draghi expects economy to return to growth, despite weaker outlook The central bank lowered its forecast for the euro area’s economy to show contraction of 0.6% this year from an estimate of minus 0.5% made in March, while raising their projection for next year to 1.1% from 1%. Inflation is expected to average 1.3% next year, well below the ECB's target of just under 2%. Inflation was 1.4% in May. The inflation forecast leaves plenty of room for further easing. The door is clearly not closed and if the economic situation fails to improve, there is room for maneuver. Recent business surveys suggest eurozone gross domestic product will contract for a seventh straight quarter between April and June, extending the region's longest postwar recession. A gauge of activity across the manufacturing and services sectors in the 17-nation eurozone rose to 47.7 in May from 46.9 in April. The below-50 reading means activity shrank, but at the least severe rate in the last three months, Markit said. Reductions in manufacturing activity moderated across the region. But services was more patchy. Data for Germany were revised higher to show a return to marginal growth, while the contraction in Spanish business activity was its least severe in almost two years. Mr. Draghi said he expects the bloc's economy to return to growth this year.
12 Yet the source of the ECB's expected economic recovery remains elusive In export- and investment-driven Germany, factory orders slid 2.3% in April from March, suggesting a weak start to the second quarter. ECB officials hope faster global growth will boost exports. However, key economies such as the U.S. and China have shown signs of softening. Germany's central bank Friday cut its growth forecast this year and next, tying the nation's fate to whether the eurozone emerges from recession. In its semiannual economic projections, the Bundesbank lowered its growth forecast to 0.3% this year from its December estimate of 0.4% expansion, and reduced its forecast for 2014 growth to 1.5% from 1.9%. Also Wednesday, the European Union's official statistics agency said retail sales in the 17 nations that use the euro fell sharply in April. That suggests that a rise in household spending recorded in the first three months of the year may have already run out of steam. The ECB is limited in what it can do to spur growth. Interest rates are at record lows. The bank's conditional pledge last year to purchase open-ended amounts of government bonds has sharply reduced government- bond yields in Southern Europe since last year. But this stabilization hasn't filtered into improved financing for small businesses, which create the bulk of euro-zone output and employment. ECB data released on Wednesday showed Spanish and Italian small businesses continue to pay much higher rates on loans than their German counterparts. ECB officials said a banking union, including a single eurozone supervisor backed by joint funds to wind down broken banks, is needed to improve the flow of credit for Southern European businesses.
13 IMF admits to errors in its international bailout to Greece The International Monetary Fund has admitted to major missteps over the past three years in its handling of the bailout of Greece. In an internal document, the IMF said it badly underestimated the damage that its prescriptions of austerity would do to Greece's economy, which has been mired in recession for the last six years. The IMF conceded that it bent its own rules in 2010 in order to prevent much more serious damage to the eurozone and world economy at the time. IMF said assumptions about growth were too optimistic and the rescue failed to meet one of four criteria -- a high probability of Greece having a sustainable debt burden in the medium term. Moreover, in retrospect, the IMF said the rescue might also have failed to meet two of the other criteria -- a good chance of regaining access to capital markets, and a reasonably strong prospect of success taking into account Greece's capacity to reform. The IMF was critical of EU leaders for failing to back a restructuring of Greek debt sooner, and said speculation by some European policymakers about a possible Greek exit from the eurozone might have also contributed to the deeper-than-expected recession. The European Commission said it "fundamentally disagreed" with the IMF report on the need for earlier debt restructuring, arguing it would have caused systemic contagion in the eurozone and undermined the entire rescue effort.
14 Bank of England keeps rates, as King bids farewell The Bank of England on Thursday voted to keep benchmark interest rates unchanged at 0.5% at Mervyn King's final monetary policy meeting as Governor. The central bank opted to keep the size of its asset purchase program unchanged at £375 billion, as well as maintain its record low interest rates. The decision to hold off on further monetary stimulus was to be expected, given evidence of a "budding recovery". The U.K. posted better-than- expected growth of 0.3% in the first quarter, while PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) data in May topped off expectations. All three parts of the economy, manufacturers, construction and services strengthened, with the dominant services sector registering its fastest rate of growth for more than a year. The BoE predicts growth will accelerate to 0.5% between April and June. Nevertheless, it is still widely believed that it is more likely that the Bank of England will take further stimulative action over the coming months. Upside risks to inflation appear to have eased recently, due to the overall marked retreat in oil and commodity prices, persistent low wage growth and moderating household inflation expectations. This gives the Bank of England more scope for stimulative action.
15 Further quantitative easing is likely under Carney, as economy not out of the woods yet Mr. King has been one of three MPC members to pushing for more stimulus since February. Although the vote won't be public until minutes of the meeting are published June 19, it is expected that Mr. King will have stuck with his call for another £25 billion of bond-buying. King's departure will be the end of an era, having served at the Bank of England for over 20 years. Ex-Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney will replace King on July 1, and has agreed to serve for five years. In a foreword to the BoE's annual report, published Tuesday, Mr. King said there are good reasons to suppose "a gentle recovery" is under way in the British economy. Nevertheless, the U.K. economy and Mr. Carney still face significant challenges, not least a continuing recession in the neighboring eurozone, Britain's biggest trading partner. Mr. Carney has signaled he wants to try out new policies to drive a faster recovery in Britain, including a commitment to keep rates low until the economy improves, a strategy deployed by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada. Mr. Carney takes office in July.
16 Japan: Abe unveils ‘third arrow’ reforms As global investors turn skeptical about Japan's recovery program, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled on Wednesday an ambitious blueprint for lifting the country's long-term growth prospects, promising reforms of everything from the stagnant agriculture and energy markets to new tax breaks encouraging foreign investment and venture capital. The blueprint includes some provisions that could have a short- term market impact, even if they don't affect long-term growth—notably a recommendation to loosen investment rules for Japan's mammoth public pension funds, allowing them to buy more stocks and shed some of their stable, but low-return, government bonds. But the long-awaited growth strategy—crafted to supplement the bold fiscal and monetary stimulus that has jolted global markets—dodges some of the tough decisions that many economists say are needed to fix the root causes of Japan's prolonged slump. It includes only modest measures to make it easier for industrial giants to shrink payrolls widely seen as too swollen for current demand, and avoids any provisions to ease layoffs, which are all but impossible in Japan.
17 Skepticism remains as market volatility continues Officials said the plan, if implemented, would end Japan's decade of deflation, and lead to economic expansion averaging 2% a year over the next decade, more than double the pace of the past 10 years. It targets health care, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals as a major growth sector in the world's most rapidly aging society. It is hard to judge the likely impact, because many details—such as the size of proposed tax credits— won't be decided until later in the year. Many of the hundreds of items in the package require parliamentary passage of legislation that has yet to be drafted. At a first look, it seemed that the market was unimpressed, as stocks sold-off on the day, indicating that skepticism remains.
18 Stocks gain as US jobs report eased jitters that the Fed will soon pull back its stimulus program
19 Gold see-sawed, ending $7 down on the week. While the pound had its biggest weekly gain versus the dollar in more than three years
22 Central Bank Meetings Calendar Expected Rate Decision Current Rate MonthCentral Bank 0.25% June 19US Federal Reserve (FOMC) 0.50% July 4European Central Bank (ECB) 0.50% July 4Bank of England (BoE) 0.10% June 10Bank of Japan (BOJ) 0.00% June 20Swiss National Bank (SNB) 1.00% July 17Bank of Canada (BOC) 2.75% July 2Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) 2.50% June 12Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) Calendar for upcoming meetings of main central banks :
24 Egypt’s Treasury yields stabilize as FX reserves reach 16- month high Egypt’s treasury yields continued to stabilize for the second consecutive week, as FX reserves at the Central Bank of Egypt reached a 16-month high. FX reserves rose to $16 billion in May from $14.4 billion a month earlier. That’s the highest level since January 2012 and covers 3.2 months of imports, according to Bloomberg. The rise in reserves is a result of $3 billion in aid from Qatar, and $5.75 billion in tourism revenue in the first half of current fiscal year. However, Egypt has still not been able to reach an agreement with the IMF on a much needed $4.8 billion loan. Instead, according to Egypt’s finance minister, the government is looking to sell Qatar a $3 billion bond in July with a maturity of 3 years and a 3.5% interest rate. This is expected to further boost FX reserves. In other news, Egypt’s finance minister also added that he expects 2012-13 budget deficit to be narrower than the 11.5% of GDP originally estimated, although he did not specify a figure. Source: Bloomberg Source: Trading Economics
25 GCC Economic Highlights: Bahrain budget deficit widens to USD601m in 2012, below plan Bahrain's budget deficit widened sevenfold in 2012 to 227 million dinars ($602.1 million) compared to 31 million dinars ($82.23 million) in 2011, but stayed well below an initial plan as the country reined in spending increases and revenue grew, data showed. The 2012 deficit was much lower than the 1.33 billion dinars ($3.53 billion) initially foreseen and is equivalent to 2% of GDP, up from 0.3% in 2011, according to a Reuters calculation based on the official figures. Government expenditure in the small non-OPEC oil exporter grew 14% to 3.26 billion dinars, but that was below the 3.85 billion planned, the finance ministry data showed. Bahrain increased its original 2012 expenditure plan by nearly 19% in September 2011 to soften social tensions. Revenues grew 21% to 3.03 billion dinars, above the 2.52 billion initially projected, mainly due to a rise in exports. The International Monetary Fund said in May that Bahrain needed to reform its public finances in the medium term to avoid its debt burden becoming unsustainable. The deficit is seen widening to as high as 8.6% of GDP in 2018 from 4.2% forecast this year, the IMF estimated.
26 According to HSBC, non-oil business activity in the United Arab Emirates rose to a three-month high in May as market conditions improved and new orders increased. The bank's purchasing managers index, or PMI, jumped to 55.3 in May, the highest reading since February, from 54.0 in April. A reading above the neutral 50 level indicates the economy is expanding. Increased order book volumes and better market conditions were cited as the main drivers of the latest expansion, HSBC said. Incoming new business also increased at the fastest pace since February, with the rise linked to good market conditions and improved marketing efforts. Meanwhile, growth of new export orders picked up from April's nine-month low, it added. HSBC's PMI index, the first of its kind to be published in the Gulf, was compiled with data provider Markit and based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in approximately 400 private sector companies. GCC Economic Highlights: UAE PMI rises to 3-month high in May on new orders jump
30 If we look at the fiscal deficit before grants, then we will find that the deterioration in budget balances is more significant, as the deficit reached JD 386.5 million during the first quarter of the year, an increase of JD204 million. 2 1 The budget balance deteriorated slightly during the first quarter of the year, with a deficit of JD176 million compared to last year’s JD168 million for the same period. 3 Additionally, Public debt reached around JD 16.8 billion by the end of March 2013, around 70.2% of 2013 GDP according to our calculations, increasing by JD251 million during the year. In the last couple of weeks, excess liquidity has fallen by approximately 300 million JOD to reach 2,349 million JD, after reaching a high of 2,917 million JD at the end of April. 4 5 This was coupled with an increase in exchangers prices from 0.70810 to 0.70840, indicating more demand on dollars in favour of dinars. Interest outlook remains stable, while upside risks elevated
31 The budget balance deteriorated slightly during the first quarter of the year, with a deficit of JD176 million compared to last year’s JD168 million for the same period, according to the latest figures released by the ministry of finance. The fiscal deficit widened despite an increase in foreign grants compared to the same period last year. Total revenues and grants increased by JD142.8 million in the quarter of the year, as a result of an increase of foreign grants by JD196 million in the first quarter of the year, compared to an overall drought of grants last year. Both current and capital expenditures increased, with the increase in current expenditure mainly from an increase in military spending and interest payments. Meanwhile, if we look at the fiscal deficit before grants, then we will find that the deterioration in budget balances is more significant, as the deficit reached JD 386.5 million during the first quarter of the year, an increase of JD204 million. Fiscal deficit widens slightly despite increase in foreign grants
32 Public debt reached 16.8 billion JD Public debt reached around JD 16.8 billion by the end of March 2013, around 70.2% of 2013 GDP according to our calculations, increasing by JD251 million during the year. Domestic debt increased by around JD 11.6 million during the first quarter of the year, compared to the end of 2012 (with most of the increase coming in March). On the other hand, external debt increased by JD238.7 million during the same period as a result of borrowing from the IMF. The IMF estimates that total debt including NEPCO will reach 83.8% of GDP at the end of 2013, of which 22.3% is external debt. JD Million March 2013 20122011 External Debt5,171.14,932.44,486.8 Percent of GDP21.6%22.5%21.9% Internal Debt11,660.011,648.08,915.0 Percent of GDP48.6%52.7%43.5% Public Debt16,831.116,581.013,401.8 Percent of GDP70.2%75.5%65.4%
33 Excess liquidity fell by 300 million JD In the last couple of weeks, excess liquidity has fallen by approximately JD300 million to reach JD2,349 million, after reaching a high of JD2,917 million at the end of April. This was coupled with an increase in exchangers prices from 0.70810 to 0.70840, indicating more demand on dollars in favour of dinars. Possible interpretations for the recent drop in JOD excess liquidity are: –A drop in the amount of REPO agreements between CBJ and commercial banks by approximately JD400 million since the beginning of the year. –The influx of Syrian refugees has placed extra pressure on import bills, meaning more local currency is likely being used to pay for foreign goods. –NEPCO and the oil refinery company have arrears that may urge the government and its entities to place extra pressure on local liquidity through extra borrowing. However, meeting external financing targets, including the IMF loan, foreign grants, and the Eurobond is expected to reverse the trend and push excess liquidity up.
34 Amman Stock Exchange For the period 02/06 – 06/06 ASE free float shares’ price index ended the week at (2022.5) points, compared to (2017.5) points for the last week, posting an increase of 0.25%. The total trading volume during the week reached JD(56.4) million compared to JD(39.3) million during the last week. Trading a total of (53.6) million shares through (22,755) transactions The shares of (176) companies were traded, the shares prices of (61) companies rose, and the shares prices of (69) declined. Top 5 losers for the last week Stock % chg Alshamekha For Realestate And Financial Investments (10.54%) South Electronics (10.00%) Bindar Trading & Investment Co. P.l.c (9.68%) Ubour Logistic Services Plc (9.21%) Jordan Investment Trust (9.17%) Top 5 gainers for the last week Stock % chg Middle East Diversified Investment 25.00% Deera Investment & Real Estate Development Co 18.87% El-zay Ready Wear Manufacturing 17.24% Ihdathiat Co-ordinates 11.76% International Ceramic Industries 11.11%
35 Local Debt Monitor Latest T-Bills As of June 9, the volume of excess reserves, including the overnight window deposits held at the CBJ JD(2,394) million. Yield (%)Size - millionMaturity DateIssue Date3 months T-Bills 2.898%5014/03/201214/12/201129/2011 2.844%5012/03/201212/12/201128/2011 Yield (%)Size - millionMaturity DateIssue Date6 months T-Bills 3.788%5014/08/201214/02/201202/2012 3.433%5023/07/201223/01/201201/2012 3.232%5008/06/201208/12/201127/2011 Yield (%)Size - millionMaturity DateIssue Date9 months T-Bills 4.285%7504/12/201204/03/201205/2012 4.229%7529/11/201229/02/201204/2012 4.169%7522/11/201222/02/201203/2012 Coupon (%)Size - MillionMaturity DateIssue Date1 year T-Bills 5.345%7515/04/201415/04/201304/2013 6.750%7026/02/201426/02/201303/2013 6.750%5014/02/201414/02/201302/2013 6.750%7027/01/201427/01/201301/2013
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