The Gulf is set for economic growth and accumulation of financial reserves in 2013 says the Institute of International Finance.
Sound familiar? Well that’s because most macroeconomic forecasts make similarly rosy forecasts for the oil-rich region. But the IIF, the world bankers’ club, warns that the good times may not last – and the region’s governments need to pursue economic reform before the outlook changes. Continue reading »
Smiles all round on the faces of those officials of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development who successfully lobbied for their role to be broadened from their traditional stamping grounds in eastern Europe to Turkey, North Africa and beyond.
As any visitor to the organisation’s annual meeting in Istanbul on Friday would have seen, top officials from the likes of Poland, Ukraine and Russia were notable for their absence. But there to fill the gap were the prime ministers of Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, not to mention the host, Turkey’s premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In the ex-Communist bloc, the EBRD is now old hat. In and around the Mediterranean, it still makes news. Continue reading »
Dubai is hoping to double its number of tourists to 20m by the end of the decade as it attracts visitors from new markets and cultivates return guests to the seventh most popular travel destination in the world, write Simeon Kerr and Camilla Hall.
The city’s sun, sea and shopping offering has been central to Dubai’s economic revival since its debilitating debt crisis in 2009, helped by its haven status since the Arab revolutions. Continue reading »
Dubai is renowned for its indoor ski-slope, boasting a black run for experienced skiers and a parcel of penguins for the kids. Ski Dubai is one of the emirate’s biggest attractions, particularly popular with tourists from the parched Gulf.
But its upstart neighbour, Ras al-Khaimah, says it plans to go one better: building a winter resort in its craggy mountains that will offer sweeping open-air runs. Continue reading »
When a big deal falls apart, finger-pointing is rarely far behind.
But in the case of the failed bid by Qatari government-backed QInvest to create a joint venture with Egyptian investment-bank EFG-Hermes, Egypt’s market regulator certainly has a thing or two to learn about tact. Continue reading »
Oil-rich Gulf countries have announced some of the world’s most ambitious renewable energy plans but analysts say the next year marks a big test to show whether these pledges will turn into contracts, writes Camilla Hall.
Both Saudi Arabia, which has announced a $109bn spending drive into solar energy, and Qatar, which aims to use a sustainable energy base to host the World Cup in 2022, have signalled they intend to launch tender contracts for solar energy projects. Continue reading »
Companies listed on exchanges in the United Arab Emirates are failing to show potential investors that their corporate governance policies are stringent enough for a new era of compliance, according to a study, reports Simeon Kerr.
The Red Flag Group, a compliance consultancy, surveyed publicly available information issued by listed groups in the UAE, ranking them on eight metrics related to corporate governance, such as the publication of codes of conduct and the identification of their compliance officers. Continue reading »
Whatever happened to the “great rotation“? Wasn’t 2013 supposed to be the year when investors finally took their cash out of bonds and put it to work in equities?
Judging by the record week emerging market bonds have had, EM equities bulls might have some waiting to do yet. Continue reading »
On the face of it, for a crunch week, Egypt has had a better time than usual.
The IMF is in town for talks on a $4.8bn (or more) loan; March inflation figures showed an improvement. And to top it all, on Wednesday it was announced that Qatar was stumping up another $3bn for the country.
But dig a little more, and there are worrying signs ahead. Continue reading »
There is a new Great Game afoot and it is taking place beneath the sea floor of the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey and Israel’s tentative reconciliation is a process so fraught that US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared in Istanbul at the weekend to chivvy the two sides towards restoring full diplomatic ties. But if the steps he set out can be taken — agreeing compensation for nine Turks killed by Israeli forces in 2010, avoiding inflammatory talk, exchange of ambassadors — then a whole series of changes could be unleashed from Damascus to Brussels. Continue reading »
Gulf states are intensifying their efforts to create jobs for nationals at the expense of expatriate workers as they face youth unemployment and pressure to prepare for a future less reliant on crude exports, writes Camilla Hall.
Kuwait has said it will reduce foreign workers by 100,000 a year, while hundreds of thousands of companies in Saudi Arabia faced a deadline last month to meet the proscribed quota of Saudi employees or risk having their licences removed. Continue reading »
Banks and investment companies are increasingly targeting the United Arab Emirates to attract funds into Indian equities as they seek to capitalise on its large population of wealthy Indians and close trade links, writes Camilla Hall.
Natixis global asset management launched a new Indian equity fund in the UAE last month while Dubai’s Gold & Commodities Exchange set up a new derivative to allow investors to track India’s stock market. Continue reading »
Dubai’s trade statistics for 2012 are in. And they show that, finally, western sanctions on Iran are crippling trade with the Islamic republic. Continue reading »
By Martti Ahtisaari and Fernando Henrique Cardoso of The Elders
It is unconscionable that March 15 marked two years of a bloody and remorseless conflict in Syria that the international community has, until now, proved impotent to end. Next week’s Brics summit is a chance for the world’s rising powers to demonstrate their commitment to the people of Syria at their time of greatest need. Continue reading »