The five important things in business right now

Here’s what you need to know in UAE business and globally on this Monday morning.

Saudi to announce transformation plan

Today is the day. Deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 30-year-old son of King Salman, is to announce his “Saudi Vision 2030″, which is expected to set goals for the next 15 years and a broad policy agenda to reach them. Many of the broad outlines of Vision 2030 are already known; they include an efficiency campaign within the government, a bigger role for the non-oil private sector, and more aggressive management of the kingdom’s foreign assets to increase returns. Stay with us for all of the latest news on the plan.

Oil slides as dust settles on Doha

Oil retreated this morning from the highest close in five months amid signs a global glut will be prolonged as Middle East producers boost supplies. Saudi Aramco will complete an expansion of its Shaybah oilfield by the end of May, allowing the world’s largest exporter to maintain total capacity at 12 million barrels a day, according to two people with knowledge of the plan told Bloomberg. Brent for June settlement slid 70 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $44.41 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices advanced 4.7 per cent last week for a third weekly advance. For more on the oil sector read the expert opinion of our columnist Robin Mills.

Arabian Travel Market kicks off in Dubai

The region’s biggest travel industry event opens in Dubai today, with thousands of new hotel rooms in the UAE and Saudi Arabia set to be announced. The four-day, 23rd edition of the travel trade fair at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre is expected to draw more than 26,000 visitors and 2,800 exhibitors this year. Read more here.

China toying with ‘black swan’

Chinese banks’ surging lending to non-bank financial institutions such as fund managers may pose a “black swan” risk for the nation’s financial system, according to Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Lending to such firms had become “the biggest driver of overall credit growth,” Harrison Hu, the firm’s chief Greater China economist, wrote in a note Monday. Non-bank financial institutions include companies, such as brokerages and fund managers, that aren’t allowed to accept deposits, Hu said. The surge in lending brought with it the risk of an “abrupt reversal” that could trigger an event like China’s cash squeeze of mid-2013 if it wasn’t properly handled, Hu wrote. Bloomberg

IMF releases latest report on Gulf region

Growth the Arabian Gulf will slow to 1.8 per cent this year, the IMF revealed in a report this morning. The region, which lost $390bn in export revenue last year, needs to implement further reforms to sustain fiscal budgets and to defend the currency pegs to the US dollar, the IMF said in its regional economic report. Read the full story here.

* with agencies

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