Young Arabs are increasingly turning their backs on cushy public sector jobs in favour of working for private companies and starting their own businesses, a survey in 16 countries has found.
There has also been an erosion in optimism that the “Arab spring” uprisings in recent years against authoritarian governments across the region will translate into better lives for ordinary people, the survey found.
As beyondbrics reported on Tuesday, index provider MSCI has rejigged its emerging market classifications. The headline grabber is that Greece has been put into the emerging market group. Up from frontier to emerging status come the UAE and Qatar. Morocco was relegated back to the frontier group.
It’s embarrassing for Greece and an overdue vote for the UAE and Qatar. But how much of a difference will it make? Potentially, quite a lot, actually.
It’s been a long time coming. After putting Greece on review for a possible demotion to emerging markets status last year, MSCI went ahead and made it official on Tuesday.
In its annual review of country classification, MSCI removed Greece from its developed markets index and reclassified it as an emerging market. The Athens Stock Exchange has shed nearly 83 per cent of its value since 2008.
Real Madrid and Barcelona are known for their annual gladiatorial contest for Spanish football supremacy.
Now the two clubs have become pawns in a proxy war among Middle Eastern airlines for global recognition.
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.
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.
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.
It’s not everyday that a conservative Gulf state is accused of copying American rapper and entrepreneur Dr Dre.
But wealthy Qatar is making waves with a branding exercise that has kicked up a social media storm.
Qatar is positioning itself to sell liquefied natural gas to Egypt as it uses its financial firepower to cement its ties with Egypt’s new Islamist leadership in a time of unprecedented economic instability, writes Camilla Hall.
The world’s biggest exporter of LNG signed a joint venture with Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital last Thursday to build a floating LNG storage facility and re-gasification unit to deliver natural gas to Egypt.
So, Qatar Airways will appear as the main logo on FC Barcelona’s shirts from next year, replacing the Qatar Foundation.
That means Doha’s state-run carrier will go head-to-head with Dubai’s Emirates, which sponsors Arsenal, and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, which sponsors Manchester City, in yet another battle ground for regional aviation supremacy: football sponsorship.
“Don’t forget, revolutions are expensive”, says Dimitris Tsitsiragos. He should know: his responsibilities as a vice president at the International Finance Corporation include north Africa and the Middle East, not least the countries hit by the Arab Spring.
The IFC, the World Bank’s private sector arm, has, in the last five years, boosted its annual commitments to the region by nearly 50 per cent to over $2bn. But, Tsitsiragos says it’s not enough: without more private sector involvement, the region cannot generate the investments required to produce faster economic growth and more jobs.