Smartphone-only bank makes a splash in the US.
OPEC is trying to bolster oil prices but Gulf economies will take a hit from a production cut.
IBM makes a bold move.
Blockchain technology is going mainstream.
Microlending boom goes bust.
China may soon have to tap foreign investors to help fund its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. Can it ease their skepticism about the project?
Malaysian election may mean near-term volatility in economic policy and performance.
As Asia ditches cash for digital wallets, more citizens are able to join the financial economy—and they are delighted.
Egypt's new sovereign wealth fund is not all it's cracked up to be.
Southeast Asian nations are benefiting from the return of global growth, with more room to grow capacity and exports—even as wages trend upward.
While enjoying robust growth and launching big infrastructure plans, The Philippines face potential inflation and growing trade deficits.
Yi Gang's appointment as governor of the People’s Bank of China a sign of policy continuity.
Beijing's top central banker is retiring. With no successor named yet, the rumor mill starts churning.
The newly anointed heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is planning a mega tourism project that could possibly contribute 15 billion riyal ($4 billion) to the kingdom’s GDP and create up to 35,000 jobs.
New approaches to labor management can help GCC economies wean themselves away from their energy dependence.
New regulatory demands are changing banking relationships and, combined with rapid technological change, squeezing transaction banks in the Middle East and North Africa.
The appointment of Nestor Espenilla Jr. as governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s less controversial decisions and may ease investor concerns over the stability of one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies.
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund increasingly engages in activism over the governance of companies it invests in.
The Middle East is fertile ground for public-private partnerships, especially for infrastructure investment, but legal and economic conditions remain an obstacle, and governments are skeptical about PPP benefits for long-term projects.
A dollar of infrastructure investment can raise GDP by 20 cents by boosting productivity, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
Wins by Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s ruling party in the month of March indicates strong support for his challenging reform plans
Last year the Gulf emirate of Dubai seized 1.6 billion dirham ($437 million) in counterfeit goods—a signal that the trading center has shed its reputation as a hub for illicit merchandise.
IBM has announced a blockchain initiative in the UAE for a trade finance and logistics project with Dubai Customs and Dubai Trade.
Which countries lead the global knowledge economy? At least one academic suggests that current assessments of a country’s knowledge base are too narrow and reliant on averages. In research to be presented in April at INSEAD, Kai Chan argues that a nation's brightest talent—not its average capabilities—determine its knowledge capacity.
Some saw November’s decision by OPEC to cut crude oil production as a turning point in the cartel’s credibility, but many question the durability of the deal.
Low oil prices are forcing the country to build up other sectors—most notably healthcare—to shore up its ability to weather economic storms.
The president elect’s protectionist views on international trade suggest emerging markets will bear the brunt of radical changes in policy—assuming his rhetoric becomes reality.
With Trump at the helm in the US, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte's anti-American rhetoric may backfire.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has joined with Japan's SoftBank Group to launch what could become a $100 billion fund to focus on technology investments.
After several years of inactivity, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) could see a spate of M&A deals in financial services.
ASIA | The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank began its efforts to finance Asia’s vast need for infrastructure this year. What are the prospects?
Striving to shake its oil dependence, Kuwait is opening up to foreign ownership. Will investors bite?
ASIA | As the regional powerhouse restructures and tackles debt problems, neighboring nations are feeling the impact.
Sparkling office towers won’t draw business without the right policies.
Investor unease over the future of the Philippines, one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economies, has soared following Rodrigo Duterte’s landslide victory in the May presidential election.
On May 9, voters in the Philippines will elect a new president amid growing concerns over whether the strong legacy of president Benigno Aquino III will continue.
Islamic banking assets in the Middle East are growing, and opportunities abound for Islamic banks to participate in the digital banking revolution, but efforts so far are falling short of customer expectations.
Despite tightening liquidity in the Gulf banking sector, Bahrain’s largest lender reported robust profits in 2015. After leading a slew of product launches, AUB’s group CEO and managing director believes the bank’s prudent risk management will underpin its expansion. He spoke to Global Finance at the bank’s headquarters in Bahrain.
By any measure QNB has major ambitions. It is the largest bank in Qatar and one of the leading financial institutions in the Middle East and Africa. It does not stop there. QNB has set its sights on becoming a global bank by 2030. QNB’s group chief executive discusses with Global Finance the regional downturn, success in Africa and its plans for a global presence.
The Bank of Palestine traces its roots back to 1960. Political upheaval has punctuated the bank’s operating environment since its founding. The bank’s chairman and general manager shares his experiences with Global Finance.
The Middle East is no stranger to political and economic uncertainty, but simmering religious and political tensions and stubbornly low oil prices have dealt the region a difficult hand. The question now is: How will countries play in order to win?
Changing fortunes in the region’s oil-rich economies have made the secretive world of sovereign wealth fund asset allocation even more opaque.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was the first Islamic bank established in Abu Dhabi, in 1997, and has evolved to become one of the largest retail banks in the United Arab Emirates, with one of the strongest digital footprints of any bank in the UAE. ADIB increased full-year net profits by 10.5% in 2015 to reach 1.9 billion dirhams ($520 million). Global Finance sat down with ADIB’s CEO at the bank’s head office in Abu Dhabi.
Milestones | Iran
A strong showing by moderates in February’s elections to Iran’s parliament and assembly of experts (the constitutional body that appoints and dismisses the supreme leader) has boosted prospects for the Islamic republic’s reintegration into the global economy and reassured foreign investors that reforms will continue.
Now that some sanctions have been lifted against Iran, Oman’s governmental policy of neutrality could come to the fore in the banking sector. Bank Muscat is gearing up to enter the Iranian market, placing it ahead of many of its banking counterparts in the Gulf. Bank Muscat’s CEO answers questions from Global Finance about the move, and the bank’s challenges in an epoch of austerity.
Emirates NBD returned a stellar performance in 2015, but this year looks to be an entirely different proposition. Shayne Nelson, Emirates NBD Group’s CEO, tells Global Finance how the bank plans to drive growth and why consolidation is needed in the UAE banking sector.