Best Islamic Financial Firms 2012

LANDMARK YEAR

By Anita Hawser

Last year was a landmark year for Islamic finance—innovative new products were launched and new markets opened up that few would have considered likely candidates just a few years ago.

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These trends look set ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: Middle East

SAUDI ARABIAN BOURSE ALLOWS FOREIGN CROSS-LISTINGS

By Gordon Platt

The Saudi Arabian stock exchange, known as the Tadawul, has taken a major step toward becoming a regional exchange.

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Islamic bloc wins control in Kuwaiti parliament

The Capital Market Authority (CMA ...

Middle East Investment Banking

CLOUDY OUTLOOK

By Gordon Platt

The global economic slowdown and regional political turmoil are casting a pall over investment banking in the Middle East. As there's no change in sight, bankers in the region may be in for another ...

Country Report: Saudi Arabia

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

By Gordon Platt

Saudi Arabia is preparing to open its stock markets to foreign investment, and it has reinforced its financial management team in preparation for this and broader economic reforms.

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Saudi Arabia, the world's largest ...

Sector Report: Middle East Telecoms

SOWING SEEDS OF CHANGE

By Anita Hawser

The Arab Spring heralded the beginnings of reform and showed the growing importance of social media in enabling communal action. The telecoms sector in the Middle East has been forever changed as a ...

Country Report: Kuwait

LONG-TERM VISION

By Justin Keay

Kuwait’s development in recent years has been driven by the state, with little FDI. However, upcoming elections promise a new government that could improve the business climate for foreign investors.

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When protesters stormed Kuwait ...

Country Report: Brazil

SEARCHING FOR BALANCED SOLUTIONS

By Antonio Guerrero

Investors are awaiting the outcome of recent rate cuts in Brazil. Whether it will prove proactive or premature remains to be seen.

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Citing a substantial deterioration in the global economy, Brazil’s central ...

Islamic Finance Goes Global

NEW HORIZONS

By Anita Hawser

Islamic Finance is growing beyond traditional borders to encompass new markets worldwide.

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The Islamic finance industry emerged relatively unscathed from the 2008 financial crisis —touting itself as an alternative to the leverage and greed that ...

Special Report: Islamic Finance In Asia

MALAYSIAN DOMINANCE PUT TO THE TEST

By Anita Hawser

Long the leading force in Asia-Pacific’s Islamic finance industry, Malaysia is facing growing regional competition.

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Anyone that does business or invests in Asia-Pacific will tell you that, as tempting as ...

GCC: Big Changes Loom

GCC REGIONAL REPORT: MARKING A MILESTONE

By Gordon Platt

The regional group faces new challenges as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.

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The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) celebrated its 30th anniversary on May 25 with quiet flag-raising ceremonies at border crossings ...

ME: Lebanon’s Future Uncertain

EMERGING MARKETS ROUNDUP: MIDDLE EAST


by Gordon Platt

After five months of political wrangling, Lebanon’s prime minister Najib Mikati on June 13 announced a new government led by the Shiite Hezbollah movement, giving Syria and Iran renewed influence in ...

GCC: Banks Remain Reluctant To Lend

GCC REGIONAL REPORT: BACK FROM THE BRINK

By Gordon Platt

Upheaval in the region and beyond is encouraging banks to bolster their balance sheets before launching any aggressive lending programs.

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Banks in the GCC have recovered from the global financial ...