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GCC retail industry to reach USD221bn by 2015 GCC retail industry to reach USD221bn by 2015(0)

The Gulf’s retail market is set to become a USD 221 billion industry by 2015, growing remarkable at 7.9% each year for the next three years, according to Markaz, Kuwait Finance Centre. CONTINUE READING

yowalid / Foter / CC BY-NC
Gulf stocks end Q1 with USD751bn market cap Gulf stocks end Q1 with USD751bn market cap(0)

A 5.2% correction in the Dubai Financial Market in the month of March took the shine off an otherwise stellar quarter for the emirate and the wider Gulf markets. CONTINUE READING

*Crazy Diamond* / Foter / CC BY-ND

 

OPEC: Cuts coming? OPEC: Cuts coming?(0)

Crashworks / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

While OPEC may not take action at its meeting on December 12, most analysts expect the group to cut production in the new year or face depressed crude prices.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may choose to hold fire at their latest meeting in Vienna on December 12, but it may be forced to cut production in the New Year, analysts say. CONTINUE READING

Kuwait’s D-Day Kuwait’s D-Day(0)

Kuwaitis have seen a fair number of elections in recent years, but the one being held on December 1 may turn out to be the most significant for the country’s political and economic well-being. CONTINUE READING

Top Arab Banks Top Arab Banks(0)
Beauty Eye / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Regional banks had the lowest cost-to-income ratios in the world. The Banker magazine’s data shows Middle Eastern banks average cost-to-income ratio was 39.69%, down from 41.37% last year. CONTINUE READING

MENA’s 5,000 richest individuals MENA’s 5,000 richest individuals(0)

The Middle East North Africa region welcomed 100 new ultra high networth individuals, as the region’s nearly 5,000-richest individuals avoided the worst of the global economic crisis and regional turmoil, according to Wealth-X, a Singapore-based wealth consultancy. CONTINUE READING

Kuwait’s Canadian Move Kuwait’s Canadian Move(0)

 

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. Shell / Foter

Report of Kuwaiti interest in Canadian oil sands companies highlights the treasure trove of oil riches in the North American country. CONTINUE READING

Kuwait’s Semi-Democracy Kuwait’s Semi-Democracy(0)

The failed Kuwait-Dow Chemical mega deal is regarded as one of the biggest examples of how the Kuwaiti parliament has hindered the country’s economic progress. CONTINUE READING

NBK Chief Ibrahim Dabdoub’s Frustration NBK Chief Ibrahim Dabdoub’s Frustration(0)

Ibrahim Dabdoub’s criticism of Kuwait’s economic malaise highlights the banking sector’s frustration over lack of government reforms and lethargic private sector growth. CONTINUE READING

Cash-Rich Gulf’s Financing Challenge Cash-Rich Gulf’s Financing Challenge(0)

As the EU crisis worsens, GCC banks are likely to face a higher demand for corporate loans as capital market liquidity tightens…. CONTINUE READING

Qatar, Kuwait & UAE’s Ecological Footprint Biggest in World: WWF Qatar, Kuwait & UAE’s Ecological Footprint Biggest in World: WWF(0)

 

Stuck in Customs / Foter

Here’s a list Qatar would not want to top: The World Wild Life Fund (WWF) has ranked Qatar as the country with the largest ecological footprint per capita in its latest report. The tiny country is joined by neighbours Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates as the three nations with the largest ecological footprint – far exceeding other countries.  READ MORE HERE

9 key points from the GCC Summit 9 key points from the GCC Summit(0)

The timing could not have been more inconvenient.

In the week Gulf leaders met to discuss ways to create a more unified group, similar to an ‘EU model’, European Union leaders were struggling to keep their group united amid an unravelling economic and political crisis. READ MORE HERE

A Kuwaiti Resurgence A Kuwaiti Resurgence(0)

Virtually all of Kuwait’s key macroeconomic indicators are pointing upwards. But political wranglings could rein in growth once again. READ MORE HERE

Can Gulf stock markets maintain momentum? Can Gulf stock markets maintain momentum?(0)

With Gulf economies poised for growth on the back of strong macroeconomic policies, regional stock markets are also set for growth. READ MORE HERE

Gulf Emerges As Global Sweet Spot Gulf Emerges As Global Sweet Spot(0)

Nobody even considered looking at MENA states last year, as news of Arab Spring-related crisis, instability and the Iran conflict dominated the headlines.
But buried amid the negative headlines was the regional governments’ resolve to continue pumping funds into their respective economies. READ MORE HERE

Middle East’s USD15-Billion SME Opportunity Middle East’s USD15-Billion SME Opportunity(0)

Around 11 million SMEs remain unserved or underserved in the Middle East, presenting a massive USD15-billion opportunity for the banking industry. READ MORE HERE

What If Oil Prices Drop Suddenly?: The GCC Dilemma, As Imagined By Citibank What If Oil Prices Drop Suddenly?: The GCC Dilemma, As Imagined By Citibank(0)

Barclays Capital expects GCC economies to rise 5.4% this year, but Citibank worries that a sudden drop in oil prices could leave the states with a dilemma: whether to curtail spending or keep pumping funds into the economy. READ MORE HERE

Which Country Will Suffer Most If Strait Of Hormuz Is Blocked? Which Country Will Suffer Most If Strait Of Hormuz Is Blocked?(0)

Which regional companies and countries stand to lose in the event that Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz? Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s takes a look. READ MORE HERE

 

MENA 2012 Outlook: Oil Exporting Countries MENA 2012 Outlook: Oil Exporting Countries(0)

In the first part of the 2012 regional economic prospects, a look at oil-rich countries’ efforts to manage their citizens’ expectations, economic slowdown and regional and domestic political upheavals in the New Year.

The year 2011 was probably the most unexpected for the Middle East in decades with  not just the magnitude of changes unravelling in the region, but also the sheer number of those cataclysmic changes. READ MORE HERE

Kuwait’s Unsustainable Spending Could Lead To ‘Shocks’: Minister Kuwait’s Unsustainable Spending Could Lead To ‘Shocks’: Minister(0)

Kuwait’s Finance Minister warns that the state’s rising wages and subsidies bill could lead to the devaluation of the dinar and compel the state to sell off assets to meet the out-of-control expenses. READ MORE HERE

 

 

Will 2011 Be The Best Year For Gulf Banks? Will 2011 Be The Best Year For Gulf Banks?(0)

While their global counterparts slash and burn, Gulf banks are collectively set for their best year – ever — according to KAMCO.

While major blue-chip banks across the world are cutting back, shedding staff, deleveraging and recoiling at the thought of major sovereign defaults in Euroland, Gulf banks have quietly bulked up. Their prudence has allowed them to escape much of the crisis facing the global financial services industry, and they have benefited from great government support that has ensured they lived through the soul-crushing global financial crisis of 2008. READ MORE HERE
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$25Bn Gulf Debt Maturities In 2012 Pose Risk: S&P $25Bn Gulf Debt Maturities In 2012 Pose Risk: S&P(0)

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that issuers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries face rising refinancing risks over the next three years because the amount of debt maturing in the region will increase significantly between 2012-2014.

Industry experts estimate bonds and sukuk of about $25 billion will mature in 2012, rising to about $35 billion in 2014. Standard & Poor’s believes the region is therefore entering a challenging loan and bond refinancing cycle, especially given the ongoing volatility in capital markets and fears that slowing global economic growth is already curbing corporate debt issuance and heightening refinancing risk in the region.
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Ten OPEC Forecasts Ten OPEC Forecasts(0)
rickz /Foter

Read the ten major forecasts from Opec’s latest World Oil Outlook, ranging from the challenges and prospects for oil developers to the intense competition they will face over the next 25 years.  READ MORE HERE

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Kuwait To Launch $3-Billion Healthcare Projects By Next Year Kuwait To Launch $3-Billion Healthcare Projects By Next Year(0)

The Kuwaiti healthcare sector offers tremendous opportunities, given the rising population and an under-explored healthcare sector that’s largely driven by the public sector. The government is keen for private sector involvement and has initiated a number of reforms and incentives to attract the private sector. READ MORE HERE

The Middle East’s 10 Most Expensive Retail Locations The Middle East’s 10 Most Expensive Retail Locations(0)

Middle East retail rents staganted in the 2010/11 period which ended in June, according to research consultants Cushman & Wakefield (C&W).

This downward trend was in sharp contrast to the growth seen in other emerging markets. Not surprisngly, some of the countries most affected by the Arab revolt saw the most severe declines. Bahrain’s retail rents fell 26.7% during the period, while Syria saw a 16.7% decline.
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Outlook For UAE Darkens; Gulf Not Immune Either: Deutsche Bank Outlook For UAE Darkens; Gulf Not Immune Either: Deutsche Bank(0)

The UAE which is more aligned than other regional states to global economic  cycles, saw its PMI fall from 57.5 in April to 51.0 in July, suggesting that that any further deterioration in global economies will be felt more in the UAE compared to other Gulf states, says Deutsche Bank. READ MORE HERE

The world’s best and worst central bankers The world’s best and worst central bankers(0)

Lebanon’s Riad Salameh is ranked as one of the world’s best central bankers. But which Mideast bank governor fares worse than Ben Bernanke and Jean-Claude Trichet? Surprising answer! READ MORE HERE

Middle East’s Q3 Economic Prospects Look Dim On Global Slowdown Middle East’s Q3 Economic Prospects Look Dim On Global Slowdown(0)

As the global economy lurches from one crisis to the next, we look at the prospects for the regional economies in troubling global conditions which could slash domestic growth.

Another quarter, another headache. Gulf governments have suffered a tumultuous first two quarters of the year and were hoping for some semblance of sanity in the third quarter. At the very least, regional governments were hoping that tragic developments within the Middle East had remained isolated – Syria, Yemen and Libya  – leaving other countries in relative safety and peace.
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Mubarak: Court Diversions Mubarak: Court Diversions(0)

 

The Egyptian army has given the public what they wanted: The humiliation of Hosni Mubarak and his regime on live TV. But beyond the court circus, far greater challenges remain.

It was an image that many Egyptians never thought they will live to see. Hosni Mubarak, the Arab strongman and former president of Egypt, in a cage along with his two sons and his closest associates and political allies.

Not satisfied with disposing Mubarak, Egyptians returned time and again to the now-famous Tahrir Square to ensure that Mubarak did not enjoy a luxurious exile ala Zine al-Abidine Ben AliBen Ali of Tunisia, who is now in political asylum in Saudi Arabia despite being found guilty of corrupt property deals by a Tunisian court. READ MORE HERE

 

VAT On The Way In Kuwait? VAT On The Way In Kuwait?(0)

Oil-dependent Kuwait may find a new revenue stream to support its rising spending needs if VAT is implemented by the authorities in 2013, according to the IMF.
READ MORE HERE

After Losing $33B in H1, Gulf Markets Hope For Better Second Half After Losing $33B in H1, Gulf Markets Hope For Better Second Half(1)

Gulf markets have lagged other global emerging and developed markets for years. Even as the S&P 500 and other emerging market indices rescaled their pre-Lehman levels, Gulf markets have stayed listless, drifting lower and lower until they have plumbed new depths. But have the markets finally bottomed out? With the Gulf economies seeing major improvement in their fortunes, thanks to government stimulus, will it rub off on the markets as well in the second half of the year? Gulf markets lost USD33.4-billion in market capitalization in the first half of the year due to a number of factors that conspired to negatively impact investor sentiment.

READ MORE HERE

Opec 2011 Bulletin’s 18 Most Important Pages (In Charts) Opec 2011 Bulletin’s 18 Most Important Pages (In Charts)(0)

Opec’s annual bulletin reveals the changing dynamics of the energy industry and the key challenges facing both the producers and the consumers.

Click through the charts to find out more:

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No Arab Spring Dividends For The Middle East? No Arab Spring Dividends For The Middle East?(0)

The Arab World’s tryst with democracy and freedom is unlikely to bear economic fruits, according to a study. Instead, we could well see a gridlock political environment and economic growth that continues to lag global averages.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) insightful study on how the Arab Spring initiative is likely to play out, suggests a 60% probability of a gridlocked political environment that is unlikely to result in realizing the aspirations of the region’s citizens. READ MORE HERE

Cast Your Vote In Arab Spring Awards Cast Your Vote In Arab Spring Awards(0)

Spring is nearly six months old. It is time to take stock, remember those who lost their lives and continue to fight, and hand out some well-deserved awards to the key players.

The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, asked the rhetorical question ‘What Country Handled Arab Spring The Best? His own answer: Morocco.

But he left the discussion at that. Given that the Arab Spring is just about six months old, alifarabia.com was inspired to take stock of how the various countries have handled a revolution that has smashed Middle East dogmas, broken the will of Arab strongmen and given hopes to millions not just in the Arab World but also around the world.

The Middle East has seen more public participation in politics in the past six months than it has done over the past 50 years. Much to the shock of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak and Moamer Qaddhafi, the people of the Arab World launched a unique coup that they could not have fathom and never saw coming. These strongmen were looking to suppress indigenous Islamic movements, the radicals, Al-Qaeda sympathisers, the socialists, the Shiaas and the sufis. They were looking for tangible forces they could fight, and suppress and imprison and maim – as they had done in the past.

READ MORE HERE

High-Spending Gulf In Dilemma As Opec Loses Relevance High-Spending Gulf In Dilemma As Opec Loses Relevance(0)

With Opec seemingly irrelevant, the GCC is trying to find a balance between responsible crude suppliers and their own domestic needs. But, as Deutsche Bank warns, their own high breakeven prices are making them even more vulnerable to oil price shocks than before. READ MORE HERE

Saudi-Led GCC Aims to Spread Regional Influence Saudi-Led GCC Aims to Spread Regional Influence(0)

The potential inclusion of Morocco and Jordan in the GCC fold should be taken for what it is – a political move by the Gulf states to widen their sphere of influence in the region.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with it. The United States has done it with NAFTA, the EU has been handing out membership forms to many countries within their vicinity; there is of course the ASEAN, and even BRIC nations have recruited South Africa in their club – they are now called BRICS. Read The Full Article On Economonitor

$1.6T Middle East Projects Are Delayed Or Cancelled: Citibank $1.6T Middle East Projects Are Delayed Or Cancelled: Citibank(0)

Close to $1.6-trillion worth of projects are cancelled or are on hold in the Middle East and East North African market, with $800-billion in the UAE alone, according to Citibank. The statistics are a reflection of the hangover of the leveraged days in the region when billion dollar projects were announced virtually every other day. Read More Here

Gulf Plus: The GCC Looks To Expand Its Sphere Of Influence Gulf Plus: The GCC Looks To Expand Its Sphere Of Influence(0)

Jordan and Morocco’s possible inclusion in the Gulf is a political move rather than an economic one, but there might be other – unlikely – candidates in the region far suitable for the purpose.

The potential inclusion of Morocco and Jordan in the GCC fold should be taken for what it is – a political move by the Gulf states to widen their sphere of influence in the region. Read More Here

Middle East States’ Foreign Assets To Hit $2.2 Trillion By Year End: IIF Middle East States’ Foreign Assets To Hit $2.2 Trillion By Year End: IIF(0)

The Arab World’s foreign assets will rise to a stunning $2.2-trillion this year, says the IIF. But the key to growth in the region will not be financial resources but structural reforms, otherwise tensions will remain. Read More Here

Japan quake and China hard landing to impact Gulf trade flow Japan quake and China hard landing to impact Gulf trade flow(0)

With Japan shaken by the quake and China looking at hard landing, the Gulf’s two largest partners are going through a tumultuous period, which could impact their trade flows with the GCC. Read More

Abu Dhabi SWF Said To Invest In Glencore, World’s Largest Commodity Trader Abu Dhabi SWF Said To Invest In Glencore, World’s Largest Commodity Trader(0)

A report that Abu Dhabi could be a cornerstone investor in Glencore has sent many Googling for the company to find out more. Here is what you need to know about the world’s largest commodity trader. Read More Here

Donald Trump’s Hysterical Comments About Opec, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Are Way Off The Mark Donald Trump’s Hysterical Comments About Opec, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Are Way Off The Mark(1)

Donald Trump’s recent hysterical comments on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are set to put more pressure on President Obama. Expect more pressures on Mideast states as the race for the White House heats up. Read More Here

Will Kuwait’s $104-Billion Development Plan Be Yet Another Victim Of Political Infighting? Will Kuwait’s $104-Billion Development Plan Be Yet Another Victim Of Political Infighting?(0)

Kuwait’s oil-dependent economy needs the $104-bn Kuwait Development Plan to shake off its lethargy. But the plan may become another victim of the country’s political stalemate. READ MORE HERE

S&P negative outlook on U.S. credit is a mixed bag for Middle East S&P negative outlook on U.S. credit is a mixed bag for Middle East(0)

Ratings agencies have an uncanny knack of turning up at morgues and pronouncing the death of the deceased, so it should have been no surprise that Standard & Poor’s did the ‘unthinkable’ and downgraded the United States’ long-term outlook to negative from stable. Read More Here

Gulf States Have World’s Lowest Corporate Tax Regimes Gulf States Have World’s Lowest Corporate Tax Regimes(0)

Most Gulf states offer some of the lowest tax rates to Forbes 2000 companies. But is there a link between the trouble in other Middle East states and their tax rates? Read More Here

What Were The Middle East’s Best And Worst Performing Stocks In Q1? What Were The Middle East’s Best And Worst Performing Stocks In Q1?(2)

What were the MENA region’s best performing stocks in the first quarter – more importantly, which were the worst that burnt investors, including one that fell 99.02% in the quarter? Read More Here

Gold Reserves of Middle East & North Africa Governments Gold Reserves of Middle East & North Africa Governments(1)

Saudi Arabia’s gold reserves dwarf Libya’s hordings. Here is a selected list of countries with the biggest gold reserves, including almost every Middle East nation.

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EFG-Hermes’ Insightful Heat Map On Middle East’s Problems EFG-Hermes’ Insightful Heat Map On Middle East’s Problems(2)

Read why EFG-Hermes is worried about Omani and Bahraini growth. And the bank’s insightful regional heat map that neatly highlights problem areas. Read the full story here

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Gulf’s ‘Marshall Plan’ Blues Gulf’s ‘Marshall Plan’ Blues(2)

Just when analysts were giving up on a truly unified GCC, the six states have closed ranks with the unmistakable presence of Saudi tanks and soldiers on Bahraini soil. Read More
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What The Forbes Billionaire List Reveals About Middle East Turmoil What The Forbes Billionaire List Reveals About Middle East Turmoil(0)

What the Forbes billionaire list may tell us about the problems of wealth-distribution in the Middle East. Read More

How Much Wealth Do Arab Rulers Control Directly? How Much Wealth Do Arab Rulers Control Directly?(0)

The rulers and royal families of the Arab World directly control more than $240-billion of investments in publicly-listed firms, surpassing SWF and government institutions, according to data. Read More

Reforms Are Need Of The Hour, Not Stimulus Packages Reforms Are Need Of The Hour, Not Stimulus Packages(0)

Quantitative easing and stimulus packages in the Gulf region are not enough if they are not backed by a healthy dose of social and political reforms. Read More Read More

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AlifArabia aims to provide analysis on Middle East and Africa business and political issues. It wants to see a thriving and dynamic Middle East that encourages corporate and government transparency, investments and policies that allow the economies to grow.

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