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

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 the ...

Regional Report: GCC

GUNS AND BUTTER The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, led by Saudi Arabia, will spend $120 billion over the next few years to buy advanced fighter planes and anti-missile defense systems. They are spending even larger sums to placate potential ...

Regional Report: Asia

ASIA ACTS AMID ADVERSITY By Thomas Clouse The turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa and the devastating consequences of the early March earthquake in Japan are dragging heavily on Asia’s export-led, resource-intensive economic recovery. When the US economy ...

Take Cover

INSURANCE: POLITICAL RISK COVER By Anita Hawser Recent events in the Middle East and North Africa have brought political risk into sharp focus for multinationals in the region and beyond. It was the morning after the Japanese earthquake, and David ...

FX: Concerns Linger After Currency War

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: FOREIGN EXCHANGE By Matt Greco Things may not look quite as bleak as they did a couple of months ago when there was talk—however irresponsible—of currency wars as trade war by other means, but international currency markets ...

Banking On Stability

COVER STORY: MIDDLE EAST By Laurence Neville Nervous investors are looking for signs of stability in the Middle East and North Africa. The region’s burgeoning investment banking industry may provide the reassurance they’re looking for. The political crisis in Egypt, ...

Sector Report: Islamic Finance

ISLAMIC FINANCE: ISLAMIC BANKING BY THE BOOK By Anita Hawser The growing popularity of Islamic financing and an intensified focus on risk management in the global banking industry are prompting greater awareness of the need for a unified—and appropriate—regulatory regime. ...

Islamic Finance: A New Frontier

TRENDS: ISLAMIC FINANCE IN LATIN AMERICA By Antonio Guerrero With Islamic financial institutions seeking to expand into emerging markets in Africa and Asia, could Latin America be next? While Islamic financial institutions have aggressively expanded through Asia and Africa, Latin ...

Standard Bearers

SECTOR FOCUS — ISLAMIC FINANCIAL SERVICES By Anita Hawser Calls for standardized regulation of Islamic financial services are growing louder in the wake of the global financial crisis. Islamic banks emerged from the recent financial crisis with a relatively burnished ...

Emerging Markets: Middle East

ROUNDUP By Gordon Platt The six member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreed at a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, last month to postpone a planned customs union for several additional years. At the exceptional meeting of ministers ...

Emerging Markets: Middle East

Roundup By Gordon Platt Dubai Mall: Mixed fortunes for Dubai’s property sector Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the world's biggest sovereign wealth fund, has purchased an approximately 15% stake in London's Gatwick Airport, although it would not confirm the exact size ...

Emerging Markets: Middle East

MIDDLE EAST By Gordon Platt High point: Saudi Arabia dominates region’s IPOs Companies based in Saudi Arabia led initial public offerings in the Middle East in the first half of 2010, but the United Arab Emirates is expected to take ...

Emerging Markets: Middle East

ROUNDUP By Gordon Platt Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, will place orders for more planes at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK, according to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler. The airline, which is owned by Dubai’s ...

Gulf Report: Exchanges Enrich Technology

MARKET MAKERS Exchanges Upgrade Technology And Add New Products By Gordon Platt Financial markets across the Gulf region are working hard to enhance the breadth and depth of services they offer. Financial markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries could ...

On The Right Path

ON THE RIGHT PATH By Gordon Platt For the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), there have been setbacks on the road to a common currency, which now appears unlikely to be introduced anytime in the next five years, but progress in ...

Gulf Report: Game Changer

ISLAMIC FINANCING BREAKTHROUGH By Anita Hawser GAME CHANGER The arrival of the first globally standardized documentation for privately negotiated Islamic hedging products marks a major breakthrough in Islamic finance and risk management. Compared to the conventional financial markets, Islamic finance ...