Following a record-breaking year for worldwide mergers and acquisitions, dealmaking declined to a two-year low in the first quarter of 2016.
The banking industry’s leading lights have largely adjusted their business plans to a world of tighter regulations, higher capital requirements and less leverage. Now, they are taking on new competitors by embracing the very information technology that has disrupted their business.
Global Finance’s list of Who’s Who in Middle Eastern finance
Capital Markets | Mergers & Acquisitions
A need by banks to address weak earnings could result in increased merger activity in 2016, according to Fitch Ratings.
Capital Markets | Fixed Income
The European Central Bank pushed its deposit rate deeper into negative territory in March, even as commercial bankers cautioned that such an unorthodox move could undermine their profitability and disrupt their role as financial intermediaries while doing little to boost lending or the economy.
Project financing is booming in Saudi Arabia, which leads the Middle East in deals, with a total of eight in 2015, worth more than $13 billion.
Capital Marktes | M&A
State-owned China National Chemical’s record $43 billion bid for Swiss agrochemical company Syngenta will be closely examined by a US government panel and other national regulators.
Capital Markets | Corporate Bonds
Demand for investment-grade corporate debt seems insatiable, even as investors shun riskier high-yield bonds.
Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) has been among the Arab region’s leading asset management and investment banking institutions since 1974. Speaking with Global Finance, CEO Manaf Alhajeri explains that economically challenging times have a bright side: a chance to find value for long-haul investors.
Monetary Policy | Capital Markets
Casting aside concerns about the strong dollar and weakness in economies abroad, the Federal Reserve achieved an historic interest rate liftoff in mid-December.
As volatile currencies toy with the bottom lines of global companies, corporate treasurers are paying a lot more attention to foreign exchange.
Capital Markets | Banking Licenses
Saudi Arabia cracked open the door to direct investments in its stock market by qualified foreign institutions in June, when HSBC became the first foreign firm to receive a license.
Fixed Income | With this summer’s Greek debt crisis having abated somewhat and the European Central Bank (ECB) considering expanding its easy-money policies, US companies are rushing to the eurozone to issue debt at record-low interest rates.
Global Finance’s annual evaluation of the work of the world’s central bankers found some stellar performances, and some dismal ones. The toughest challenge for many: propping up falling prices.
Arabia is meeting with some success in its efforts to entice foreign investors to six new economic cities in the kingdom.
With the country’s oil revenue set to slide by about 30% this year, privatization is a largely untapped resource.
FX Reserves | China’s foreign exchange reserves plunged by nearly $94 billion in August, the most ever in a single month, as the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) struggled to support the renminbi after devaluing the currency by 1.9%.
Management | Leadership Challenge
Nearly two out of three chief financial officers worldwide aspire to become chief executives of their company, but relatively few succeed in occupying the corner office.
Capital Markets | Economic Transition
As China makes the transition to a consumer-led economy, it has the potential to generate an incremental $15 trillion in consumer spending over the next decade, according to a report by think tank The Demand Institute.
Capital Markets | Foreign Exchange
The surging dollar, falling euro and plunging emerging-markets currencies had a record $32 billion negative impact on the earnings of companies in North America and Europe in the first quarter, according to Scottsdale, Arizona‒based FiREapps, which helps corporations measure and manage foreign exchange exposure.
Regional wealth funds, free-trade zones and the Saudi Stock Exchange are expected to boost GCC economic growth and spur development—even if oil doesn’t cooperate.