Islamic Finance

Saudi Arabia and UAE start the new Year introducing VAT

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) for the first time from Monday.

It is a five per cent tax on most goods and services to boost revenue. The VAT will be applied on food, clothes, electronics and gasoline, phone, water and electricity bills, as well as hotel reservations, the BBC reported. The five percent sales tax applies to most goods and services and analysts project that the two governments could raise as much as $21 billion in 2018, equivalent to 2.0 percent of GDP.

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Swiss banks start to review Saudi account information

Swiss Federal prosecutors said on Monday that the Swiss authorities were examining information provided by banks about possible suspicious transactions related to Saudi accounts.

The comments came in response to a report published in the Financial Times, which quoted unnamed sources who claimed that the Swiss banks began reporting suspicious activities within the accounts of some Saudi clients.

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Iran is ready to switch its currency, coming back to toman

The administration of President Hassan Rouhani in a cabinet meeting on Sunday approved a bill to switch Iran’s national currency from rial to toman, an official said here on Monday. The secretary of the Cabinet Mohsen Haji Mirzaei said the issue had been scrutinized in the government’s economic commission during the past six months. He added the move aims to facilitate the transactions by the public. The move is aimed at improving the performance of banking sector, he added.

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Qatar Stock Market tumbles after diplomatic ties cut by Gulf states

Qatar’s stock market plunged on Monday after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed ties with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Every stock listed on Doha’s headline index was trading sharply lower in early trade. QNB fell by 7.6 per cent, with Masraf Al Rayan and Industries Qatar down by over 9 per cent.

Oil prices rose in response to the shock decision to isolate Qatar, announced early this morning by state news agencies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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