António Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal and UN high commissioner for refugees, took over on January 1 for a five-year term as the United Nations secretary general. The fact that Guterres ran a major UN agency during a global refugee crisis would help him to focus on ways to better integrate the various UN operations and to partner with other institutions.
Corporate Finance & Capital
The Trump campaign in the United States and the UK’s Brexit movement put forth renewed calls for economic policies with potential to limit or reduce cross-border trade.
Gulf countries are encouraging local banks to merge and several have done so. In the UAE, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank are in the process of creating the largest bank in the Middle East.
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.
The Kingdom of Morocco now allows participative finance. On January 2 the central bank, Bank Al-Maghrib, issued authorizations for five banks to begin commercializing shariah-compliant products and services.