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Taiwan: Bring It On

Taiwan’s new president and its banks face a tough market and a changing economic picture. They’re ready.

Blockchain Voyages Of Discovery

Special Report: Fintech
As banks rush to find areas where the blockchain can save them time and money while creating opportunities, it’s hard to see exactly how this might shape future banking processes.

Taiwan Roundtable: Ready To Manage The Risks

Taiwan is facing a challenging year, according to participants in a Global Finance roundtable in Taipei. But sound regulation has made banks resilient, and the mood is still upbeat.

Award Winners

Honoring The Best In Private Banking

Honoring The Best In Private Banking

Over the years Global Finance has been pleased to honor banking excellence in various areas. This year, for the first time, we honor great wealth management with the World’s Best Private Banks 2016. Winners celebrated at the Harvard Club.

Adding Value And Boosting Digital Agility: Svante Andreen, Nordea

Nordea Markets Investment Banking is an integrated part of wholesale banking in the Nordea Group. A move from different legacy systems to one single platform is part of Nordea’s simplification program. Svante Andreen, Nordea co-head of markets investment banking, expects the move to foster agility, enabling Nordea to become a truly digital bank.

Capitalizing On Adversity

The best banks see falling stock prices as an opportunity to finance takeovers with debt and sell bank equity to please regulators.

Global Salon

Middle East Supplement 2016

Islamic Finance | Bridging The Digital Divide

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.

Branching Out: Adel El-Labban, Ahli United Bank

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.

Down, But Not Out

Retail sales in the Middle East are susceptible to lower oil prices and falling consumer demand, but international retail chains still view the region’s long-term investment prospects positively.    

Intent On A Global Footprint: Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Qatar National Bank

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.

Managing Amid Uncertainty: Hashim Shawa, Bank Of Palestine

The Bank of Palestine traces its roots back to 1960. Political upheaval has punctuated the bank’s operating environment since its founding. The bank’s chairman and general manager shares his experiences with Global Finance. 

Best-Performing Companies In The Middle East

There are big changes at the top of the rankings this year, and there is greater geographical diversity in the list. Companies in the region are dealing with a number of serious headwinds and broader economic and market changes, which are starting to take their toll. 

A High-Stakes Poker Game

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? 

Fast Follower: Tirad Al-Mahmoud, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

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.

Adversity Brings Creativity

Adversity Brings Creativity

The Middle East is characterized by high youth unemployment and political and economic uncertainty, but new business and technology start-ups and young entrepreneurs are providing hope for future generations.

Banking On Talent: Abdulrazak Ali Issa, Bank Muscat

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.

Driving Momentum: Shayne Nelson, Emirates NBD

Emirates NBD returned a stellar performance in 2015, but this year looks to be an entirely different proposition. Shayne Nelson, Emirates NBD Group’s CEO, tells Global Finance how the bank plans to drive growth and why consolidation is needed in the UAE banking sector. 


Iran Elections Stir Optimism

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.

Middle East Region Staggers Under Ratings Downgrades

Milestones | Middle East
The established pattern of falling Middle Eastern credit ratings that started in 2014 continued apace in February and early March of this year, as rating agencies issued further downgrades of governments in the region.


Breen Goes Lean Before Mega-Merger

Newsmakers | United States
Edward Breen earned his reputation breaking up Tyco, so it’s no surprise that he’s hit the ground running since taking over at DuPont last October as interim CEO, a position made permanent a month later.

New Pemex CEO To Lead Reforms

Newsmakers | Mexico
Mexico’s giant state oil company Pemex has a new boss, González Anaya, and he’s got a mess on his hands.

Corporate Finance & Capital

Earnings Pressures May Spur Us Bank Mergers

Capital Markets | Mergers & Acquisitions
A need by banks to address weak earnings could result in increased merger activity in 2016, according to Fitch Ratings.

Sovereign Funds Change The Patent Game

Trends | Patents
As sovereign governments expand their investments into uncharted territories, a new kind of fund has emerged: the sovereign patent fund (SPF), a state-owned patent investment fund that buys and licenses patents, covers the cost of litigation and protects against patent infringement.

Asian Development Bank Section

ADB Meeting In The Heart Of Europe

Asian Development Bank Section: ADB Annual Meeting
Last year’s historic Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan saw the bank and member countries commit to a wide range of goals and reforms.

Additional Stories

Djibouti Aiming High

Frontier Markets Report
Djibouti is a small country with ambitious plans, which it hopes to achieve by attracting large amounts of foreign direct investment.