June 23 – Daily Brief of World Finance & GCC News

WORLD FINANCE NEWS BRIEF

Trump Moves to Temporarily Suspend New H-1b, Other Visas Amid Covid-19 Pandemic by wsj.com

The restrictions, which are set to take effect June 24.

The order is likely to be challenged in court by business groups.

In addition to the H-1B visa, the temporary ban will apply to new H-2B visas, J-1 visas and L-1 Visas. 

In addition to Monday’s temporary action, the administration plans to enact several permanent changes to immigration policy. It will do away with the H-1B visa lottery, in favor of allotting the 85,000 available slots to the jobs offering the highest salaries. It will also tighten rules around H-1B workers assigned to third-party employers as contractors, and recalculate the wage scale to require companies to pay the visa holders higher salaries.

An Epidemic of Contaminated Waste Is Following the Coronavirus by bloomberg.com

During the peak of the crisis, Wuhan, the city where the outbreak began, generated 240 tons a day of medical refuse — six times the normal level, according to the nation’s Environment Ministry. Manila in the Philippines produced an additional 280 tons a day of medical trash, while Jakarta generated 212 tons, the Asian Development Bank estimated. By April, 50 tons of infectious waste were piling up each day in Thailand’s medical centers.

The resurgence of disposable plastic is an urgent issue that all governments need to include.

Global stocks bounce back after Trump says China deal ‘intact’

Markets across the region were volatile, skidding early in the session after Peter Navarro, Mr Trump’s chief trade adviser, told Fox News that the so-called phase one trade deal between the US and China was “over”. But Washington was quick to retract the comments.

GCC NEWS BRIEF

Saudi Arabia Drastically Limits Hajj Pilgrimage to Prevent Viral Spread by nytimes.com

On Monday, the kingdom made clear it was not cancelling the event outright, but drastically reducing the total number of pilgrims for safety. The event this year would welcome only pilgrims from Saudi Arabia and from other nationalities who are already inside the kingdom.

The dramatic shrinkage of the largest annual rite in Islam could hit Saudi Arabia particularly hard.

Last year, of the 2.49 million pilgrims who performed the hajj, 1.86 million came from outside Saudi Arabia. The hajj and a lesser pilgrimage called the umrah, which can be performed year-round, earn the kingdom about $12 billion per year, according to government statistics.

Half of MENA Execs Expect Minor Impact on Profitability; M&A Slowdown Likely by zawya.com

While 35 percent of UAE executives and 32 percent of Saudi executives are bracing for a significant negative impact, in Egypt, only one-fifth anticipate a severe impact locally, while one-third expect it to have no impact at all.

Across the region, 54 percent of MENA executives say they plan to actively pursue M&A in the next 12 months, only slightly lower than six months ago.

Sovereigns, large merchant families and corporations are aggressively looking at tactical buying opportunities

About the author

Financial advisor to UHNWI, private entities, family offices, and companies. Certified Anti-Corruption Manager from The American Anti-Corruption Institute

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