In this issue

Financial services in Arab countries may not always be straightforward but appear more inviting than in the west

Regional commerce undergoes fast change

Financial services in Arab countries may not always be straightforward but appear more inviting than in the west, writes Michael Peel

Islamic finance: Large groups struggle to make money out of sharia compliance

Local institutions appear well-placed to capture business, writes Camilla Hall

Private equity: New reality enforces need to work harder

Companies are having to take a longer-term perspective in order to generate returns, writes Camilla Hall

Gulf banks: Hangover starts to clear but lenders lack fitness

Simeon Kerr reports on a sector that is underperforming the broader markets

North Africa: Eurozone woes provide assets ripe for picking

European banks are looking to off load regional outlets, writes Farah Halime

Samba bank

Saudi Financial Group: Large public projects signal way to profit

Abeer Allam considers the fortunes of Saudi Arabia’s second biggest group

Lebanon: Temporary shock on volatile faultlines has turned into trend

Bankers say things could be much worse, writes Abigail Fielding-Smith

Asian inroads: Oil link recasts business landscape

Symbiotic relationship is starting to transform the status quo, says Simeon Kerr

Profile: ICBC

Chinese lender seeks a broader footprint in support of expanding trade, writes Simeon Kerr

October issue
illustration of Middle East cities vying for position as the financial hub, by David Bromley
©David Bromley

Struggle for regional superiority

Michael Peel reports that political uprisings have added a further dimension to the battle between financial centres

Bahrain: Hopes pinned on niche role

Even before unrest, the island’s position was waning, says Simeon Kerr

Egypt: Cairo has a long way to go to realise potential

Amira Salah-Ahmed reports on one of the region’s most open and welcoming markets

Lebanon: A safe port in politically turbulent times

Banks are waiting to see what will happen, writes Abigail Fielding-Smith

Saudi Arabia: Office space glut in prospect

Building plans are under review, writes Camilla Hall

United Arab Emirates: Dubai’s dual purpose role is cemented

Star performer gains pre-eminent position as provider of shelter from the storm, writes Simeon Kerr

Qatar: Campaign to attract portfolio managers

Simeon Kerr considers the QFC’s switch to a more targeted strategy

May issue

Need for funds is at its greatest

With lending hit by eurozone woes and uprisings, even oil-rich states ask who will supply funds in future, says Michael Peel

Restructuring: Debt maturity puts experience to the test

Camilla Hall reports on the complexities of sharia compliance

Sharia compliance: Banks hit by a shortage of products

Islamic lenders have limited options, says Camilla Hall

Stock exchanges: Imbalances keep Gulf region on the sidelines

Simeon Kerr reports on the constraints conspiring to keep global interest subdued

Bonds: Saudi issuance is important signal to companies

The kingdom has dominated ‘sukuk’ sales, writes Robin Wigglesworth

Investment: Uncertainty casts a cloud over FDI

The eurozone crisis has exacerbated the drop in interest, writes Abeer Allam

Stock markets: Egypt defies the odds

Sentiment in Egypt is much better than it was but bankers are watching out for devaluation, writes Abeer Allam

Infrastructure: Question mark over who pays for projects

Lenders are finding imaginative ways to raise cash, reports Camilla Hall

Sovereign wealth funds: Attention turns to the home front

Except for Qatar, pressure to spend locally has iverted funds away from trophy investments, reports Camilla Hall

Private Equity: Heightened political risk gives opportunities to local investors

Many global firms have yet to return to the market, says Simeon Kerr

March issue

Political upheaval clouds future

But most Gulf states, flush with cash, have remained clear of the turbulence

Cybercrime: Uprisings spark an increase in malicious activity online

Tom Gara reports on increasingly appealing territory for web adversaries

Islamic banking: Impressive growth underscores success

Camilla Hall reports on the sector’s increasing popularity

Private banking: Wealthy go in search of better protection

Simeon Kerr on the need for more rigorous wealth preservation

Regional round-up: Gulf looks eastward in hunt for bank funds

Credit demand increased as supply fell. Camilla Hall and Simeon Kerr report

Egypt: Institutions confound predictions of disaster

Heba Saleh finds a resilient sector that has benefited from a series of reforms

Lebanon: Neighbours’ problems put expansion plans on hold

But some feel that prospects are quite strong, says Abigail Fielding-Smith

Small enterprises: Jobs top the list of national priorities

Abeer Allam explains the hopes that lie in entrepreneurs

Pay: How to compete with a generous public sector

Michael Peel on why it is always better to have a government job