November 11, 2012
The International Monetary Funds latest assessment of the MENA economies shows mixed messages, with oil-exporting states looking to do weel, whilst those without oil are set to face subdued growth.
Economists are condemned to devise scenarios and produce forecasts upon which strategists and policymakers form judgements for action. Like weathermen, they don’t deny that they are invariably wrong, but can you trust them to keep you out of the economic storm?
Algeria is planning to exploit its natural shale gas reserves in a controversial move. The country is the worlds fourth-largest gas exporter and the move to shale gas is would increase revenues, but is causing deep concern for environmentalists.
Oman's central bank museum is a veritable treasure trove of currencies, not just the Dinar or rial, but historical coinage that shows the trade-route between nations and is an enlightening way to view the economic history of the region.
Lebanon's cities are a wealth of heritage, but what can be done to make them sustainable and livable?
Few can agree on the best way to preserve Lebanon’s urban heritage, but most would agree the country is in dire need to come up with a plan for more livable and sustainable cities, so what can be done to improve the lives of city-dwellers?
Inflation is creeping up in Iran, but this is is starting to affect the bridal industry in the Islamic Republic, especially in the run up to of Muharram, a month of mourning for Shiite Muslims, but it is also when many get married.
November 8, 2012
Local companies are anticipating a rise in building materials costs over the next year in the Gulf region. Cement prices have sky-rocked already.
Balancing growth with risk management and governance is vital for driving investment in today’s increasingly regulated and challenging markets, Stuart Anderson, Managing Director and Regional Head Middle East at (S&P) says.
Strategic oil reserves will be needed if Iran carries out threat to close the choke point waterway Strait of Hormuz, as land passages can only carry so much.
November 7, 2012
Moody’s expects problem loan levels to remain elevated, driven by (i) exposures to large, stressed, government-related issuers (GRIs) and (ii) legacy corporate impairments, primarily real-estate-related, which are still emerging after failed attempts to restructure earlier in the crisis.
The month of July and August marked the expected slowdown in Initial Public Offering (IPO) activity in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) with lower available trading days and activity on the regional exchanges.
Jordanian citizens and Egyptian expatriates have voiced disappointment at Cairo’s decision to halt gas supplies to the Kingdom, which suffers from severe energy difficulties.
November 6, 2012
Financing small and medium enterprises (SME) in the UAE is still one of the main challenges facing this burgeoning sector. An SME law anticipated by the close of the year might improve the situation.
European construction companies are pursuing growth opportunities in the Gulf region. The construction boom in the GCC can allow them to invest in rebuilding projects in Arab Spring countries as the Eurozone crisis continues to drain their profits.
Many women are finding creative ways to overcome the restrictions Palestinians face in finding work and starting a business. Palestinian females who know first hand how hard it is for women to succeed in the job market are leading a campaign to increase women's representation in decision-making positions in the public sector.