In this issue

From Egypt to Iraq, business conditions are improving and new frontiers are opening up, helped by the Gulf states boosting spending to kickstart their economies

Fortunes recover as states prime pumps

Activity is picking up across the board after a lull caused by the global financial crisis and regional unrest

Ahmad Galal, interim finance minister, Egypt

Egypt’s banks doing well but exposed to shifts in political fortunes

Big investments in treasury bills are raising concerns over vulnerability

Scope for consolidation in overcrowded markets

New frontiers open up as some groups expand by lending more while others snap up rivals

Stimuli help bourses defy fears over unrest

Net inflows could hit a record this year

Al Rajhi Bank: Margins trimmed at market leader

Saudi’s top sharia lender faces tougher competition

Shuweihat 1 facility

Recovery swells funding pipeline

Big infrastructure deals are coming back into fashion

Cyber crimes force concerted response

The region has particular vulnerabilities but is making progress in tackling hackers

Sanctions bring tougher compliance rules

Some traditionally big business lines have been dropped

Defence contracts help the local economy

Opportunities in offsets and their financing too big to ignore

May 2013

Forces must rally in aid of business in the Arab world

Efforts are focused on reviving sources of funding that have sputtered or stalled as a younger generation presses for change. Michael Peel reports

Small business: Cultural shift required to ease unemployment

Start-ups need more help from the region’s lenders, says Simeon Kerr

SME funding: Risk takers move to fill gap left by play-safe lenders

Simeon Kerr reports on a potentially rewarding arena for entrepreneurs

IPOs: Disclosure need deters offerings

Few families are ready for the required level of transparency, writes Camilla Hall

Debt workouts: ‘Reputation’ lending gets a bad name

Big banks have been stung by a plethora of bad calls, writes Camilla Hall

Guest column: Emotional investments carry highest risk for Saudi family companies

Many owners find it hard to distinguish between the interests of the family and the interests of the business, writes John Sfakianakis

Egypt: Innovators value presence of angels at the table

Heba Saleh reports on an initiative that is receiving positive attention from the World Bank

Jordan: Kingdom leads region in number of tech deals

Friendly policies capitalise on skills, says John Reed

Saudi Arabia: Small business remains reliant on friends and family for funds

Riyadh could do considerably more to make banks extend credit beyond state projects, writes Abeer Allam

Tunisia: Economic revival depends on banking reconstruction

Borzou Daragahi on a country coming to terms with excesses