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Head to the future news (edition 11-5-2020)

1. Over a million recovered from the virus

Over a million people around the world are known to have recovered from the new coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The real figures are likely significantly higher than that, given limited testing capacity in many countries and mild cases going unrecorded, notes the BBC. The United States recorded the greatest number of recoveries, as well as the most reported cases.


 2. Recent reopening Policies

  • Adults in Spain are being allowed outside to exercise for the first time in seven weeks but are allocated time slots according to age.
  • In the UK, more than 6,500 people have signed up for a trial to see if survivors’ blood plasma can be used to treat patients as its death toll nears Italy’s, Europe’s worst-affected country. Construction work has been permitted in England since the start of the lockdown and ministers have repeatedly encouraged the industry to open, although Johnson’s instruction was the most high-profile statement to date. At its highest point, some 65 per cent of UK sites by value had closed down, but last week that figure was down to 37 per cent, according to data provider Glenigan.
  • Ireland will leave restrictions in place until May 18, aiming to reopen the country in five stages up to August.
  • Austria plans to reopen shops of all sizes, marking the first EU country to do so.
  • Germany is slowly lifting its lockdown but advises against foreign travel until 14 June. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a further relaxation of lockdown policies, saying the country could “afford to be a bit bold” but “must remain cautious”.
  • Russia recorded its fourth straight single-day increase in cases.
  • South Africa said it would lift a nationwide lockdown on Friday, but maintain strict social distancing and face mask rules.
  • India’s nationwide lockdown has been extended to May 17, but restrictions have eased in some low-risk areas
  • Residents of South Korea will soon be free to move about — but there will be rules for everything.
  • Thanks to fast action and restrictions put in place before a major outbreak, Greece has avoided the major outbreaks of nearby Italy — as of May 6, the country has reported 2,663 cases and 147 deaths.
  • France: Prime Minister Edouard Philippe recently announced a “very gradual” easing of restrictions starting May 11. A Council on Tourism will work on an overview for a tourism-centered reopening plan to be delivered by the end of this month. However, France’s Parliament voted to extend the official “health emergency” until July 24 — this maintains the closed borders outside the European Union, and requires a two-week quarantine for “French or foreign nationals entering French territory from a list of geographical areas to be determined.”




3. How Middle East CFOs and finance leaders are reacting to COVID-19


Despite the shift in timelines, CFOs are actively planning for a return to onsite working. It’s not surprising that changes in workplace safety measures, such as requiring workers to wear masks and offering testing, are top of mind for executives globally.

We have seen a shift amongst Middle East CFOs, with 54% now believing it will take three months or more to return to business as usual, an increase of 10% in two weeks.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat, many countries around the world are implementing emergency tax measures to support their economies.

These measures include postponement of the filing and payment of taxes, reductions in taxes and government fees, loan repayment deferrals, and stimulus packages to support the local economies.




4. UK: Major contractors now have 73% of sites open

Build UK said that over 80% of infrastructure and construction projects are now running, with members that include housing in their portfolios reporting that just over half of their housing sites (55%) are now open for business compared to 46% last week.

5. Optimism among the Industry is rising

The weekly online poll from Global Data shows an increase of the level of optimism among the Construction and Infrastructure industries. Answering the question:

How optimistic are you about your company’s growth prospects? the total answers for “Very optimistic” and “optimistic” have reached 60% in May 2nd, while the “very pessimistic” and “pessimistic” answers were about 30%

Source: Global Data

6. More than 20.000 tenders awaiting

If you work in the Infrastructure and construction Industry, the second part of the year will be full of work to do.

This week have been published 2030 new tenders worldwide  (with 23.011 live tenders right now).
These numbers refers to the following sectors: Oil and gas – Infrastructure and construction – Roads and Highways – Renewable energy.

Source: Global Tenders

7. Strategic buys for the future

In an interview with Derek Bleakley, General Manager at Euro Auctions, it is addressed the important topic of strategic purchase of Used Equipment. He states as follows: “If you are suggesting panic buying, let me tell you this industry does not panic buy […] The industry buys strategically for upcoming projects.”

When construction and infrastructure projects will resume after the pandemic is over, the best companies will be in for a good start

What are the plans regarding purchasing or rental practices in response to the Coronavirus? While someone wants to play the conservative card, others seek the best opportunity, maybe finding the right machine for a great price: “What’s wrong with that? There are some good deals out there right now.”


Source pag 20-21

8. How to perform better

Since the reopening time is getting closer to all of us, for some there is the urge to recover the time spent on quarantine, get back to work and make things better.

But beware, performing at their pre-COVID-19 levels will be impossible—unless their leaders overcome a blind spot.

9. The Middle East’s top construction contracts of March 2020

he Middle East’s top construction contracts of March 2020 were:

1. Sharjah Contracting, Khatib & Alami to work on 2.16km2 infra project
2. L&T wins work for Oman’s Al Dhakhlia water project Phase 2
3. Egypt’s Hassan Allam Construction wins contract for Haya Water Oman
4. Saudi’s ACWA Power to build $2.5bn Uzbekistan renewable energy plants
5. Malaysia’s Eversendai wins $116m worth contracts in Saudi, Morocco
6. ONEIC wins TANWEER’s $7.4m contract to build substation
7. Falconcity of Wonders awards SAAM Vega project to Evolve Contracting
8. Germany’s Vossloh wins Etihad Rail contract from CSCEC, SK E&C JV
9. Saudi’s Advanced Petrochemical, SK Gas to build plants worth $1.8bn
10. RTA awards $122.5m contract to upgrade Falcon Junction



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