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 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?
Cuba: News that Anglo-Dutch consumer products company Unilever will return to Cuba to build a $35 million plant in the special development zone at the port of Mariel, about 40 kilometers west of Havana, is one of the clearest signs yet that the communist nation is taking a more pragmatic approach to foreign direct investment.
The republic of Trinidad and Tobago girds for austerity as oil brings in less foreign exchange.
South Africa: After burning through two Finance ministers in 18 months—with the second having held the job for less than a week—South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, moved in mid-December to restore a measure of stability to the post.
A new era kicked off on December 31, 2015, for the 10 countries that are part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: The alliance launched the Asean Economic Community (AEC), a trade bloc aimed at creating a unified, cross-border market where labor, services and capital can flow without restrictions.
The axe fell on Brazil heading into 2016 as it suffered a downgrade to junk status by Fitch Ratings, heightening the air of crisis as the beleaguered nation grapples with political turmoil and recession.
Corporate Governance | Management
Selling the assets could improve BTG’s net worth by 20 billion reais ($5 billion).
In Myanmar, Asia’s odd man out and a global pariah for decades, small signs of progress mean a lot. So the early December launch of the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) was a big deal—even if no stocks trade there yet.
In November the European Investment Bank published its latest Bank Lending Survey for Central Europe and Southeastern Europe.
The International Monetary Fund decided last month to alter its long-standing policy of not lending to countries with arrears to official creditors—national governments or agencies they sponsor—thereby enabling it to continue lending to Ukraine should it fail to repay on time a $3 billion bond due to Russia.
Unlike some of its Eastern European neighbors, the Czech Republic has shunned joining the eurozone and has surprised many with its stable and healthy levels of economic growth. However, progress is still needed on business transparency.
Foreign Exchange | Capital Markets
The renminbi’s entry into the International Monetary Fund’s basket of currencies, the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), will require China to have a more flexible exchange rate.
Bulgaria’s multilingual workforce attracts foreign investors, but corruption is a problem.
Tom Manning, affiliate partner at Waterstone Management, has been advising global companies on China, and vice-versa, for years. The onetime CEO of Ernst & Young Consulting Asia, Capgemini Asia, Cerberus Asia and Indachin, and former senior partner at Bain, sat down with Global Finance to discuss the nation’s quiet innovation revolution.
When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept elections in November, financial markets were focused neither on prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, nor on president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. All eyes were on new deputy prime minister Mehmet Şimşek, the former Finance minister, who may be the only reformer within the largely statist AKP.
There’s been big change in the small country of Burkina Faso. On November 29, the West African nation of 17 million held its first free elections in almost three decades.
Riding a wave of government spending, Kuwait’s financial institutions are thriving despite the drop in petroleum revenues—for now.