Sparkling office towers won’t draw business without the right policies.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.