Saudi Investments in Bahrain’s Real Estate Sector Expected to Increase

The reopening of the King Fahd Causeway boosts real estate investments in Bahrain (Photo: Issa Al-Debaisi)
The reopening of the King Fahd Causeway boosts real estate investments in Bahrain (Photo: Issa Al-Debaisi)
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Saudi Investments in Bahrain’s Real Estate Sector Expected to Increase

The reopening of the King Fahd Causeway boosts real estate investments in Bahrain (Photo: Issa Al-Debaisi)
The reopening of the King Fahd Causeway boosts real estate investments in Bahrain (Photo: Issa Al-Debaisi)

With the recent re-opening of the King Fahd Causeway linking the Kingdom of Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, following a closure of more than a year, experts expect an increase in Saudi investment flows in the Bahraini real estate sector, as Manama accelerates the implementation of 40,000 housing units that will be delivered by 2022.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Ali Al-Mudaifa, Executive Director of Investments at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “During 2020, the real estate sector maintained its position among the ten sectors that contribute the most to Bahrain’s economy.”

“With the reopening of the King Fahd Bridge to Saudi citizens, we expect to see a significant increase in the value of investments allocated to the real estate sector, as investors seek to take advantage of the projected growth in demand to meet tourism needs, whether through hotels or other tourist facilities,” he added.

Mudaifa noted that the growth in real estate transactions reflected the increasing demand for residential and retail real estate in the kingdom. It is an opportunity for investors and developers, who are able to benefit from Bahrain’s ideal business environment, such as the possibility of 100 percent foreign ownership, he remarked.

“In addition to the local demand for real estate, we witnessed a 21% increase in the value of real estate transactions by non-Bahrainis, including citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which reflects the investors’ confidence in the Bahraini real estate sector,” the official told Asharq Al-Awsat.

As for housing developments in Bahrain, nearly 3,000 real estate deals were completed in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of 51 percent compared to the same period last year, while real estate transactions amounted to USD600 million in the same period, compared to USD440 million last year.



Egypt Raises Domestic Fuel Prices by up to 15% before IMF Review

This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)
This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)
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Egypt Raises Domestic Fuel Prices by up to 15% before IMF Review

This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)
This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)

Egypt raised the prices of a wide range of fuel products on Thursday, the official gazette said, four days before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducts a third review of its expanded $8 billion loan program for the country.

The official gazette, citing the petroleum ministry, said petrol prices increased by up to 15% per litre, with 80 octane rising to 12.25 Egyptian pounds ($0.25), 92 octane to 13.75 pounds and 95 octane to 15 pounds.

Diesel, one of the most commonly used fuels, saw the biggest increase, rising to 11.50 Egyptian pounds ($0.24) from 10 pounds, according to Reuters.

This is the second time the government has raised fuel prices since the IMF expanded its loan program by $5 billion in March. Egypt has committed to slashing fuel subsidies as part of the agreement.

But Egyptians who spoke to Reuters, including taxi driver Sayed Abdo, complained that Thursday's move would mean an automatic increase in prices for daily goods.

"If you ride with me today and usually pay 10 Egyptian pounds, I will ask you for 15, because fuel prices are raised. That's normal, because when I go get food, what I used to buy with 10 Egyptian pounds becomes now for 15," he said.

"We don't know where we're headed with these prices."

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said prices of petroleum products will gradually increase until the end of 2025, adding that the government could no longer bear the burden of increasing consumption.

Egyptians have also endured blackouts, which Madbouly said had ended at the start of this week, as the country struggled to import sufficient natural gas to tackle the summer heat.

In April, the IMF estimated that Egypt will spend 331 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.85 billion) on fuel subsidies in 2024/25 and 245 billion in 2025/26.

The IMF's approval for the third review of the expanded loan program was originally expected on July 10, but was pushed back to July 29, with the lender attributing the delay to the finalisation of some policy details.

The IMF is expected to disburse $820 million to Egypt after concluding its review.