The competitition to attract financial business in the Gulf is hotting up.
Dubai’s financial centre says it will slash telecommunications rates as it seeks to sustain growth amid increasing competition from neighbours such as Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The DIFC is set this year to roll out a technology transit zone within its data centre, offering prices that can compete with London and other western cities to ease costs for trading desks and asset managers. Continue reading »
By Georges Elhedery of HSBC
For centuries, the Middle East provided obvious trade hubs for merchants as they travelled between the east and the west. This pattern is being repeated now, as air travel in emerging markets takes off. The focus of the airline industry is shifting eastwards and the Middle East’s prime location at the crossroads between Asia, Africa and Europe means it is once again an important gateway for travel.
The rapid economic growth of emerging markets such as China has led to an increase in wealth and created a growing middle class that is keen to see the world. Since 2007 air travel in emerging markets has risen by 55 per cent*, and this trend is expected to continue. Continue reading »
Majid Al Futtaim, the malls operator that brought an indoor ski slope to Dubai, is seeking to double revenues over the next five years by bringing Carrefour markets and mega-malls to more countries across the broader region.
Having expanded across 12 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and central Asia, the retailing giant is scouting four out of the 14 sub-Saharan African countries for which it holds Carrefour franchisee rights. Continue reading »
Dubai may be celebrating getting the 2020 World Expo, but is it a poisoned chalice?
After the crash of 2008 and subsequent sovereign debt crisis, surely the Expo is a welcome boost? As Simeon Kerr reports for the FT, “Dubai’s commercial sector anticipates it will give an estimated €28.8bn economic boost and create some 277,000 jobs.” What’s not to like?
Well, some analysts are not quite so positive. Continue reading »
Transparency International’s latest report on emerging markets companies has slammed Chinese companies for their lax reporting standards, comparing them unfavourably with the relatively more open Indian corporate scene.
Faring little better than their Chinese counterparts were a handful of Middle Eastern companies included in the report. Continue reading »
It hasn’t taken long for the recovery in Middle Eastern markets to persuade once-shy companies that now could be the time to list.
The announcement this week that the Bank of London and The Middle East would list on NasdaqDubai, which has just two actively traded stocks, signalled the first new listing in Dubai in nearly five years. Continue reading »
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. Continue reading »
Delays to ambitious tourist developments in the UAE capital city have left hospitality groups battling with serious oversupply, writes Camilla Hall. Continue reading »
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. Continue reading »
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. Continue reading »
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 »
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 »
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 »