November 12, 2012
Global food price hikes, along with increased oil costs, were one of the sparks for the Arab uprisings, but are we about to see another increase in the cost of food, especially in the Middle East as leaders try to reign in deficits by cutting subsidies?
Oil, the commodity that fuels the global economy, transported around the world in not so green ships, could soon be on the rails - the railways that is. Invoking the memory of early oil exploration in the US, transporting the black gold by rail is becoming increasingly popular.
Opec ministers who gathered at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (Adipec) came out yesterday in support of keeping oil prices above $100 a barrel, as concerns rise of the drop of in oil demand.
The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region oil exporters’ combined current account surplus is anticipated to remain near its historic high of about $400 billion in 2012, the IMF has forecast.
The UAE is home to some of the worlds wealthiest people, but what do you do with all that money, how do you spend it and manage carefully - or not so carefully? Many our now turning to "lifestyle managers" to help, but it comes at a cost.
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.