Subscribe to RSS
banner

Macroeconomic Data back to homepage

Ethiopia builds on economic momentum Ethiopia builds on economic momentum(0)

Ethiopia is building on its economic momentum with a spate of new developments, but needs higher growth rates to fulfil its ambition of achieving middle-income status. CONTINUE READING

DarkB4Dawn / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Libya reserves drawdown accelerates Libya reserves drawdown accelerates(0)

A combination of oil production disruptions and runaway spending could deplete Libya’s formidable financial reserves in less than five years, analysts warn. CONTINUE READING

josullivan.59 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Tanzania LNG on backburner amid constitution review Tanzania LNG on backburner amid constitution review(0)

Tanzania’s dream to beat Mozambique and emerge as East Africa’s first exporter of liquefied natural gas has suffered a setback as politicians bicker over a new constitution for the country.CONTINUE READING

Eurobond likely as Kenya eyes revised GDP Eurobond likely as Kenya eyes revised GDP(0)

Kenya appears set to issue its debut USD 2 billion Eurobond before June, as the government looks to capitalize on favorable fiscal conditions and the prospects of middle-income status after a GDP revision. CONTINUE READING

klndonnelly / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Construction to buoy Bahrain banks Construction to buoy Bahrain banks(0)

Bahrain’s financial sector has been hit by civil unrest that has dented business confidence in the Gulf Arab state, but renewed construction activity could boost otherwise muted growth in the banking sector. CONTINUE READING

Yonis / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Africa banks on mobile money accounts Africa banks on mobile money accounts(0)

Sub-Saharan Africa may have some of the highest poverty levels in the world, but it is an absolute leader in mobile financing, according to latest research. CONTINUE READING

South Sudan’s latent potential South Sudan’s latent potential(0)

There is hope that warring leaders can put aside tribal rivalry and help the country emerge as a new investment hotspot. CONTINUE READING

Vít Hassan / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Africa infrastructure investments hinge on reforms Africa infrastructure investments hinge on reforms(0)

Africa’s massive infrastructure needs present a huge opportunity for the private sector, but governments will need to improve the regulatory environment and strengthen regional markets to lure companies. CONTINUE READING

Iran economy to contract further as nuclear talks continue Iran economy to contract further as nuclear talks continue(0)

Iran is at a crossroad.Uncertainty about the outcome of dialogue between the Islamic regime and Western powers has also left the country’s economy in limbo. CONTINUE READING

GCC accounts for 87% of MENA real estate investments GCC accounts for 87% of MENA real estate investments(0)

More than USD 1 trillion worth of real estate projects are under way in the Middle East and North Africa, as regional authorities move swiftly to address chronic housing shortages across the Arab World. CONTINUE READING

Rebasing helps Nigeria in GDP race Rebasing helps Nigeria in GDP race(0)

GDP is nothing but a number. After a two-year delay, Nigeria has finally rebased its gross domestic product and emerged as Africa’s largest economy ahead of South Africa, which had long held the title. CONTINUE READING

N. Africa shows tentative signs of recovery N. Africa shows tentative signs of recovery(0)

North Africa may be on the cusp of a recovery barring a return to major political upheavals. And a pickup in economic activity in the European Union – North Africa’s biggest trading partner – could further lift sentiment in the region. CONTINUE READING

Morocco’s economy to expand 5% in 2015: IIF Morocco’s economy to expand 5% in 2015: IIF(0)

Morocco is expected to emerge as the fastest growing economy in North Africa, with its GDP rising 3.8% in 2014 and nearly 5% in 2015, as the new consensus government ends a period of uncertainty and paves the way for bolder economic reforms, according to Institute of International Finance. CONTINUE READING

Oil reliance and lack of reform leave Gabon vulnerable Oil reliance and lack of reform leave Gabon vulnerable(0)

Gabon’s financial problems have been vastly exaggerated. An erroneous news report late last month suggested Gabon’s government had suspended salaries of government employees as it did not have adequate funds. CONTINUE READING

huguesn / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Namibian port poised to be logistics hub Namibian port poised to be logistics hub(0)

Namibia’s Walvis Bay could emerge as southern African states’ gateway to Europe. CONTINUE READING

JAXPORT / Foter / CC BY-NC
Concerns grow over Nigeria’s ‘lost billions’ Concerns grow over Nigeria’s ‘lost billions’(0)

The suspension of Nigeria’s central bank chief has raised uncertainty for the economy as investors worry about its long-term impact. CONTINUE READING

[WW] / Foter / CC BY-SA
Rules keep resource-rich Kenya shackled Rules keep resource-rich Kenya shackled(0)

Development of natural resources in Kenya would help lift the country’s economy further, but the regulatory environment remains “hostile” to foreign investment. CONTINUE READING

Egypt gets USD4.9bn shot in the arm, but still wary Egypt gets USD4.9bn shot in the arm, but still wary(0)

Egypt’s fresh stimulus of USD 4.9 billion would provide a short-term push to the economy, but the country’s medium-term challenges remain. CONTINUE READING

Bahrain’s economic growth remains lackluster Bahrain’s economic growth remains lackluster(0)

Three years after Bahrain erupted in violence, the country’s economy remains in fragile condition. CONTINUE READING

Unlisted Sightings / Foter / CC BY
Namibia heads for the middle-income trap Namibia heads for the middle-income trap(0)

Namibia has been a success story in Africa and has climbed the socio-economic ladder to emerge as a small middle-income country. But after major advances, growth in this country of 2 million appears to have stalled, as the economy reaches the limits of its infrastructure and economic plans. CONTINUE READING

alex_smith1 / Foter / CC BY
Weak macro puts Iran on inflation’s sharp edge Weak macro puts Iran on inflation’s sharp edge(0)

The last time the IMF analyzed Iran’s economy in 2011, it was heavily criticized for praising Tehran’s structural reforms. CONTINUE READING

druidabruxux / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Nigeria to host USD95bn worth of FDI projects Nigeria to host USD95bn worth of FDI projects(0)

More than a hundred projects with a combined value of USD 95 billion are under way in Nigeria, as one of the world’s most promising economies continues to grow strongly despite a range of political issues. CONTINUE READING

manbeastextraordinaire / Foter / CC BY
South Africa’s ANC faces pressure in run up to polls South Africa’s ANC faces pressure in run up to polls(0)

South Africa’s African National Congress led by Jacob Zuma will soon be contesting elections for the first time this year without the moral support of legendary statesman Nelson Mandela, who passed away earlier this year. CONTINUE READING

Darryn van der Walt / Foter / CC BY
Foreign investments to fuel Africa’s growth Foreign investments to fuel Africa’s growth(0)

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic fundamentals look strong over the next three years, but a “protracted” decline in commodity prices and tighter US monetary policy pose a risk to growth. CONTINUE READING

Morocco posts growth amid MENA turmoil Morocco posts growth amid MENA turmoil(0)

While the rest of North Africa is imploding, Morocco is quietly working through its challenges. CONTINUE READING

SpreadTheMagic / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Armenia signs up for Russia’s customs union Armenia signs up for Russia’s customs union(0)

Armenia’s decision to hastily join the Russia-sponsored Eurasian Customs Union project is one of the most significant developments in the country’s short independent history and could have major impact on its ties with the Western world. CONTINUE READING

Chatham House, London / Foter / CC BY
MINT poised to add flavor to global economy MINT poised to add flavor to global economy(0)

The Goldman Sachs economist now believes MINT countries — Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey — might be the new engines of global growth. CONTINUE READING

srqpix / Foter.com / CC BY
Mali teeming with opportunities despite risks Mali teeming with opportunities despite risks(0)

Mali had teetered on the brink of instability over the past two years until French forces intervened to restore order and democracy back to the landlocked African states. CONTINUE READING

Jelle Jansen / Foter.com / CC BY
Fresh tensions, oil concerns grip Iraq Fresh tensions, oil concerns grip Iraq(0)

The recent spate of violence and an impending clash between prime minister Nour Al Maliki’s forces and Sunni rebels in Fallujah and wider Anbar provinces have threatened further instability in an-already violence-wracked country. CONTINUE READING

Iran weighs two possible economic scenarios Iran weighs two possible economic scenarios(0)

The Tehran Stock Market has soared 133% year-to-date as Iranian investors are hoping that their new president will be able to strike a deal with Western powers over the country’s nuclear program. CONTINUE READING

kamshots / Foter.com / CC BY
Non-oil to keep Saudi economy riding high in 2014 Non-oil to keep Saudi economy riding high in 2014(0)

Saudi Arabia may rein in massive public sector spending slightly in 2014, but it will still be enough to keep the non-oil sector humming along and ensure domestic demand continues to remain robust. CONTINUE READING

Juber Al-haddad ™ / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Nigeria poised to be Africa’s largest economy Nigeria poised to be Africa’s largest economy(0)

Nigeria’s GDP may rise 53% next year, making it Africa’s largest economy, if new measures to estimate GDP growth are implemented, according to one analyst. CONTINUE READING

b4b2 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Non-oil sector keeps Azeri fiscal wheels turning Non-oil sector keeps Azeri fiscal wheels turning(0)

Azerbaijan’s economy is expected to ride a non-oil sector boom over the next few years, as the country pours billions into infrastructure projects. CONTINUE READING

cercamon / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Dull economy takes shine away from Cameroon Dull economy takes shine away from Cameroon(0)

Cameroon will continue its lackluster growth of around 5% at a time when other African states are galloping ahead. CONTINUE READING

hoyasmeg / Foter.com / CC BY
Mozambique political tensions seen rising in 2014 Mozambique political tensions seen rising in 2014(0)

A subliminal moment in Mozambique’s history in 1997 turned the country’s economy on its head. CONTINUE READING

World Economic Forum / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Kenya looks to infrastructure for economic fix Kenya looks to infrastructure for economic fix(0)

Infrastructure projects focused on Kenya’s transportation and energy sectors are set to reinvigorate the economy, as the country emerges from an election year and the terrorist attack in Nairobi that killed scores of people earlier this year. CONTINUE READING

SSA: In search of next wave of growth SSA: In search of next wave of growth(0)

Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth rate over the past decade is impressive but it is based on picking “low-hanging fruits” and modification of faulty policies, rather than paradigm policy shifts, according to International Monetary Fund. CONTINUE READING

CharlesFred / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Mounting debts pose risk to Ghanaian economy Mounting debts pose risk to Ghanaian economy(0)

After flying high for a number of years, growth appears to be cooling in the West African state of Ghana. CONTINUE READING

Saudi spring cleaning labor market with crackdown Saudi spring cleaning labor market with crackdown(0)

Saudi Arabia’s labor problems will “cloud” the country’s short-term outlook, according to analysts. CONTINUE READING

Faisal AlKhudairy \  فيصل الخضيري / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Ethiopia is where Africa’s super-rich roam Ethiopia is where Africa’s super-rich roam(0)

Long seen as synonymous with poverty and droughts, Ethiopia has broken all stereotypes and seen the largest increase in number of dollar millionaires in Africa over the past six years as its economy soars. CONTINUE READING

Free Grunge Textures – www.freestock.ca / Foter.com / CC BY
Minerals draw UAE, other investors to Guinea Minerals draw UAE, other investors to Guinea(0)

Guinea’s impoverished economy received a major boost in late November when Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company signed a deal with the government to build an alumina refinery, which is expected to attract an estimated USD 5 billion in foreign investment. CONTINUE READING

Sporadic unrest taunts Bahrain’s fiscal growth Sporadic unrest taunts Bahrain’s fiscal growth(0)

The Bahraini government and the International Monetary Fund seem to be at odds in their assessment of the country’s economic progress. CONTINUE READING

m_fahad / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
DRC rebels, government find common ground DRC rebels, government find common ground(0)

The end of hostilities between the MR23 rebel group in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and the government could mark a new peaceful chapter in the country’s war-ridden history. CONTINUE READING

Julien Harneis / Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Financial inclusion to open up SME capital access Financial inclusion to open up SME capital access(0)

Middle East and North Africa region has some of the most dismal financial inclusion rates in the world, according to new data from the World Bank. CONTINUE READING

SalFalko / Foter.com / CC BY-NC
End nears for Central Asia’s export-led growth End nears for Central Asia’s export-led growth(0)

Turkmenistan is expected to post the highest growth in Central Asia, according to the European Business for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), but elsewhere in the region, growth is faltering. CONTINUE READING

BlatantWorld.com / Foter.com / CC BY
Sub-Saharan Africa teeming with banking potential Sub-Saharan Africa teeming with banking potential(0)

International banks’ exposure to Sub-Saharan Africa stands at a paltry USD 210 billion, according to the Institute of International Finance. CONTINUE READING

World Bank Photo Collection / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Tunisia sees no sign of political resolution soon Tunisia sees no sign of political resolution soon(0)

Ground zero of the Arab Spring movement appears to have made very little progress after ousting its ruler Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in early 2011. CONTINUE READING

Africa on the bottom rung of doing business index Africa on the bottom rung of doing business index(0)

Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest ranked region in the world when it comes to business-friendliness, but it is making rapid progress, according to the latest edition of the World Bank’s Doing Business survey. CONTINUE READING

CharlesFred / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
New Jordanian cabinet to address fiscal issues New Jordanian cabinet to address fiscal issues(0)

Jordan’s economy is hoping for fresh impetus after a new Cabinet was sworn in on August 21 by the reform-minded government led by prime minister Abdullah Ensour. CONTINUE READING

World Economic Forum / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Global SWFs’ combined portfolio rises to USD6trn Global SWFs’ combined portfolio rises to USD6trn(0)

Global sovereign wealth funds now hold more than USD 6 trillion in investments with Middle East funds contributing 35% of the assets, according to latest data from Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. CONTINUE READING

Refracted Moments™ / Foter / CC BY
Algeria’s presidential polls raise reforms optimism Algeria’s presidential polls raise reforms optimism(0)

The Algerian economy is cruising along in low gear, but investors are hoping that presidential elections in April 2014 will speed up economic and social reforms. CONTINUE READING

azza-bazoo / Foter / CC BY-SA

 

Egypt warms to GCC as US cuts USD260m military aid Egypt warms to GCC as US cuts USD260m military aid(0)

At a time when Egypt needs friends that persevere in its hour of crisis, the United States has chosen to spurn the country and continues to pursue an inconsistent foreign policy. CONTINUE READING

freestylee / Foter / CC BY
Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP to expand 5% in 2013 Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP to expand 5% in 2013(0)

While Sub-Saharan Africa has growing trade ties with the rest of the world, many of the African countries remains largely disconnected and that may benefit the region as it posts sterling growth this year and the next. CONTINUE READING

Lawrence Whittemore / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Nairobi mall siege to cost Kenyan tourism USD160m Nairobi mall siege to cost Kenyan tourism USD160m(0)

Kenya has made international headlines for all the wrong reasons lately. CONTINUE READING

World Economic Forum / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Economic hope falters ahead of Swazi elections Economic hope falters ahead of Swazi elections(0)

As the citizens of Swaziland head to the polls on September 20, international observers are pointing to the country’s “unsustainable” path and a “crisis” that is inevitable if the current policies and political set-up continues. CONTINUE READING

itupictures / Foter / CC BY
Libya risks meltdown as fresh tension builds up Libya risks meltdown as fresh tension builds up(0)

Libya has gone from a much-lauded country trying to get back on its feet after a bloody civil war, to a basket-case within the space of a few short months. CONTINUE READING

Maggie Osama / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Export-led growth seen heading into hibernation Export-led growth seen heading into hibernation(0)

Countries heavily dependent on commodity exports are economically vulnerable, especially as the commodity ‘super-cycle’ is expected to peter out, according to a new report. CONTINUE READING

Lightmash / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Hope springs as Egypt property remains resilient Hope springs as Egypt property remains resilient(0)

Amid the gloom, Egypt’s real estate sector continues to remain resilient. CONTINUE READING

sierragoddess / Foter / CC BY-ND
Yemen faces roadblocks to economic recovery Yemen faces roadblocks to economic recovery(0)

Yemen’s new economic reforms could help the country post annual growth of 4% over the medium term. CONTINUE READING

Martin Sojka .. www.VisualEscap.es / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Oil output slowdown to hit petrodollar-reliant Iraq Oil output slowdown to hit petrodollar-reliant Iraq(0)

The Iraqi oil sector has been one of the great success stories of the past five years, rising by a million barrels from 2008 to 2012 to cross three million barrels per day. CONTINUE READING

TunnelBug / Foter / CC BY-NC
Weak macro data put brakes on Kazakh’s growth Weak macro data put brakes on Kazakh’s growth(0)

Kazakhstan has enjoyed a good run over the past few years, but the country will have to get used to a lower growth rate, according to an economist who recently visited the country. CONTINUE READING

zsoolt / Foter / CC BY-NC
Resources exploitation reveals Ghana’s growing pains Resources exploitation reveals Ghana’s growing pains(0)

Ghana’s economy has been on a tear over the past few years, posting growth of 9.4% in 2011, followed by 8.2% last year. CONTINUE READING

Economic policy changes leave Zambia vulnerable Economic policy changes leave Zambia vulnerable(0)

It’s a heady feeling when the world’s most influential investment bank gives your country such a resounding thumbs up. CONTINUE READING

Dietmar Temps / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Ivorian economy pins hope on privatization blueprint Ivorian economy pins hope on privatization blueprint(0)

Post-crisis expansion has begun in Ivory Coast, with the government hoping to establish its authority across the country. CONTINUE READING

Hugo Passarello Luna / Foter / CC BY-SA
Oil-rich Turkmenistan faces global backlash Oil-rich Turkmenistan faces global backlash(0)

When North Korea, Iran and Kazakhstan start praising your human rights records, it may be time to change tactics. CONTINUE READING

StuffEyeSee / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Dark clouds hang over Guinea’s bauxite market Dark clouds hang over Guinea’s bauxite market(0)

Guinea has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite – an ore crucial for the development of aluminum. CONTINUE READING

bob the lomond / Foter / CC BY-NC
Investors beware before making beeline for Nigeria Investors beware before making beeline for Nigeria(0)

Analysts are raving about Nigeria as it emerges as one of the most promising economies in the world. CONTINUE READING

Joel Abroad / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Investors keep watchful eye on Ivory Coast Investors keep watchful eye on Ivory Coast(0)

Abraaj Capital is close to making major investments in the Ivory Coast (or Côte d’Ivoire), as the nation emerges from a decade-long civil conflict and participate in the wider growth taking root in the continent. CONTINUE READING

DFID – UK Department for International Development / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Armenia’s president backs fiscal resuscitation Armenia’s president backs fiscal resuscitation(0)

As Armenia’s president Serzh Sargsyan once again prepared to take a presidential oath on April 9. CONTINUE READING

Presidential Press and Information Office / Foter / CC BY
Strong macro drives Morocco’s investment appeal Strong macro drives Morocco’s investment appeal(0)
Isofoton.es / Foter.com / CC BY

There is a reason why the European Union picked Morocco as the first North African country to begin its free trade agreement negotiations with last week. CONTINUE READING

Climate alert: Doomsday scenarios Climate alert: Doomsday scenarios(0)
http://climate.nasa.gov/ / Foter.com / Public domain

The world is on track to be 4 degrees warmer, which will be marked by ‘extreme heat-waves’ and rising ‘life threatening’ sea levels, according to a World Bank funded report. CONTINUE READING

Sub-Saharan Africa: Final frontier? Sub-Saharan Africa: Final frontier?(0)

 

torbakhopper / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Sub-Saharan Africa conjures up images of starving children, famine and corrupt regimes presiding over poor infrastructure.

But that is changing. Fast. CONTINUE READING

Black swans 2013 Black swans 2013(0)

As businesses prepare their budgets for next year, many of them see a sea of trouble they must navigate through to get to profitability.
Here is a list of possible black swan events (or grey swan events, as some of them are visible on the horizon) that may upset their best-laid plans:
CONTINUE READING

Foter.com / GNU Free Documentation License
Sunny, with a chance of recession Sunny, with a chance of recession(0)

 

Shabbir Siraj / Travel Photos / CC BY-NC-ND

Europe will remain in recession for much of 2013 and 2014, and Greece could well exit the Eurozone, but it will do little to stop broad-based growth in the global economy, according to Citibank.

“We expect consumption and investment will grow rapidly across many emerging markets in coming years, especially in Asia and the Middle East, reflecting policy loosening plus background drivers of rapid growth of middle-income consumers, urbanization, and major infrastructure projects by cash-rich governments and state-linked bodies,” says Michael Saunder, analyst at the bank. CONTINUE READING

Project Slow Down In Gulf Project Slow Down In Gulf(0)
mugley / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

More than USD65-billion worth of projects have been awarded in the Middle East North Africa region, according to Citibank Group research. CONTINUE READING

Doing business in the Middle East Doing business in the Middle East(0)

 

JakeBrewer / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Middle East states fared poorly in a new edition of a survey that measures their business friendliness. The World Bank’s annual Doing Business 2013 report saw most countries in the region fall in global rankings. CONTINUE READING

Fastest-growing Arab cities Fastest-growing Arab cities(0)

The UN Habitat has developed a brand new way to look at the liveability of global cities. Known as the City Prosperity Index and developed by UN-Habitat, this new model combines the five dimensions of prosperity, which includes environmental sustainability, equity and social inclusion, productivity and quality of life. CONTINUE READING

eesti / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
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

UAE’s Credit Crunch UAE’s Credit Crunch(0)
san189 / Foter / CC BY-NC

The UAE Central Bank’s decision to extend its deadline for commercial banks’ to comply with its regulations for another six months comes as a relief to the financial institutions. CONTINUE READING

Bahrain’s New Normal Bahrain’s New Normal(0)
Navin Shetty Brahmavar / Foter / CC BY-SA

Bahrain is looking at its GCC counterparts enviably as it battles its own domestic issues, while its neighbours rake in petrodollars and bask in relative stability. It seems like the Kingdom will have to live with internal political strife for some time to come. CONTINUE READING

KSA to be fastest growing G20 economy after China this year: BarCap KSA to be fastest growing G20 economy after China this year: BarCap(0)

Saudi Arabia will emerge as the second fastest growing G20 country after China this year, while Gulf economies will outpace global and emerging growth, according to Barclays Capital research. CONTINUE RE

Bakar_88 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

ADING

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

Middle East’s top universities Middle East’s top universities(0)

King Saud University was the Middle East’s only higher educational institute among the world’s top 200 universities, according to a new survey. CONTINUE READING

shapeshift / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Post-Arab Spring conflict Post-Arab Spring conflict(0)

While the recent conflict between Hamas and Israel could come to an end, it is clear that new battle lines and alliances are being drawn, changing once again the regional dynamic. It does not take much for the Middle East to flare up in a great ball of fire. CONTINUE READING

Black swans 2013 Black swans 2013(0)

As businesses prepare their budgets for next year, many of them see a sea of trouble they must navigate through to get to profitability.
Here is a list of possible black swan events (or grey swan events, as some of them are visible on the horizon) that may upset their best-laid plans:

READ MORE HERE

Re-elected Obama looking for ‘Egypt of Asia’? Re-elected Obama looking for ‘Egypt of Asia’?(0)

By Rushdi Siddiqui, Global Head of Islamic Finance at Thomson Reuters


President Barack “Peace” — as no new wars in last four years — Obama may be less beholding to special interests during the second term. He will now want to leave a legacy behind, both domestically and on foreign policy. However, his legacy will now be held hostage to the court of public opinion.

The re-election of Obama, both on popular (50 per cent to 48 per cent) and electoral (303 to 206) votes, is a message sent by the American people to work smarter (not only harder), longer, faster, and with partners, to “fix” what is broken, “mend” what needs fixing, “push” forward what is working and a “probation” to try new initiatives.

The post-election comments for the peaceful president from world leaders, from secular to spiritual, have been positive, glowing, and extending an open hand to assist in the hard work ahead as all of us are in the same “boat” called humanity wanting dignity.

 

In the second term, Obama needs to focus on Asia, generally, before China’s once-in-decade political make-over starts execution (no pun intended), and possibly, a leading Muslim country, specifically, as an example a country which closely represents US ethnic, religious, and cultural diversification and “tolerance.”

 

Maybe it’s time for the president and the US to find and get behind an “Egypt of Asia”, as the oil and (perceived) regional influence of certain countries of recent past did not pan out as expected.

 

Omnipotence?

 

Will there be peace and stability in the Middle East within the next four years? It may be easier to have an Olympic gold medal winner in badminton from Malaysia than find the elusive peace in a region of piecemeal countries united and, yes, divided by tribalism.

 

The omnipotence of the US as the voice of reason and calming stability backed by her economic and military might has been downgraded (let’s leave S&P out of the equation) by the misadventures of George “Bring it on” Bush and the systemic risk to global economy by the sub-prime fiasco (also under George Bush), and the corresponding rise of the BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and newcomer South Africa. Clearly, the power has shifted away from the US. Where it has shifted to is another issue, as it’s not debt battered and financially bleeding Europe.

 

Hotspot

 

The Arab Spring flushed out the regional diminishing US influence, including the unflinching support of entrenched poster child ally, Hosni Mubarak/Egypt, a benevolent dictator.

 

However, the Middle East remains important mainly because of black gold, oil, and the havoc a price escalation can play on industries and capital markets in an already weakened global economy.

 

The Middle East also remains a region of “unknown knowns”, composed of a complicated jigsaw puzzle of Egypt (controlled chaos), Libya (chaos), Lebanon (proxy chaos), Palestinian/Israel (two-state solution), Syria (civil war), Yemen (drones), Iran (nuclear), Al-Qaeda (stateless terrorism) and so on.

 

Although not mentioned on any geographical or topical defining map, Pakistan and Afghanistan are an extension of the region for the United States’ earlier intervention and on-going challenges. To put it differently, “they broke it, and have to buy it,” and with no return policy.

 

Thus, it will take more than four years of precision focus, shuttling negations, wisdom patience, printing press of money and, possibly, divine intervention to have an acceptable “normality” i.e. absence of conflict, not necessarily peace.

 

Expanding attention

 

The primary focus will continue on the Middle East, but, much like five-year business plans looking for new business opportunities in different geographies, the US needs to remove the “horse blinders” and see the Muslim world not as one, but as many countries with rich histories, cultures and influences. Thus, oil/gas reserves, military bases and large domestic population will continue to be important, but possibly not outcome determinative.

 

To make Obama’s second term more interesting on foreign policy, vis-à-vis the 57-country Muslim world, selected Muslim countries need to “pitch” themselves as representative of democratic and religious principles (is this possible?). There are three Muslim countries in the G-20, Turkey, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, and these are only a starting point.

 

Other countries worthy of consideration, based upon metrics-like population, GDP growth and 2020/2030 vision, capital markets, democratic principles, OIC influence, etc include Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria and Malaysia. As mentioned above, the court of public opinion will also matter for Obama, hence, from the above-mentioned destinations, the American public has a “challenging” opinion about these countries, except one.

 

The Malaysian elections are around the corner next year, and the incumbent and opposition can expand their platform to pitch about Malaysia to both the White House and Congress.

 

Winning the Nobel Peace Prize early in his first term is a tough benchmark act to follow for the second term for any democratically elected leader. His second term may be an extension of hope that transforms to trust that brings change, hence, actually earning the Prize that he accepted in the first term.

 

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

How Americans’ view the MidEast How Americans’ view the MidEast(0)

The Middle East citizens’ attitude and feelings towards the United States is well documented, but rarely do we get an insight into the minds of the average American citizen – not government officials – and it offers a very interesting insight into the American world view outside of Washington. CONTINUE READING

Werner Kunz / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Jordan: Reform Time? Jordan: Reform Time?(0)

 

David Bjorgen / Foter / CC BY-SA

 

In a widely expected more, Jordanian King has dissolved parliament and elections are expected soon. But any new government will face a troubled neighbourhood and a weakening economy. CONTINUE READING

Boost for oil Boost for oil(0)

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s big move last week would no doubt be cheered by oil-exporting countries and their financial markets. READ MORE HERE

The Weakest Link: Short-Term Liquidity & How It Impacts Islamic Finance The Weakest Link: Short-Term Liquidity & How It Impacts Islamic Finance(0)

By Rusdhi Siddiqui, Global Head of Islamic Finance at Thomson Reuters

Let me start off with a loaded question, what one word in Islamic finance is as important as Shari’ah, tax, accounting, regulation, and standardisation (STARS)?

Read More

USD76Bn Of Gulf Debt Set To Mature By 2014 USD76Bn Of Gulf Debt Set To Mature By 2014(0)

More than USD76-billion of bond and sukuk debt is expected to mature by 2014, according to Kuwait Financial Centre ( Markaz ) research. CONTINUE READING

A Bigger Food Crisis A Bigger Food Crisis(0)
<dt >

subcomandanta / Foter

The current drought in the United States is not the only food crisis we need to worry about. Behind the shortage of 2.2-billion bushels of corn is a much bigger food crisis waiting for the world, which has been pushed back as governments fight their debt crisis, anaemic growth and rising unemployment. CONTINUE READING

Syria: Economy Of Violence Syria: Economy Of Violence(0)

 

<dt >

freestylee / Foter

With the Syrian political situation extremely fluid with more than 20,000 people killed in the civil war, predictably the economy also lays in ruins. CONTINUE READING

Food Crisis On The Way? Food Crisis On The Way?(0)

 

<dt >

Hinrich / Foter

The last time food prices started shooting up, it led to riots in some countries which ultimately ended up disposing a few regimes in the region. CONTINUE READING

The Globesity Opportunity The Globesity Opportunity(0)
<dt >

ccaviness / Foter

The Gulf is home to some have the heaviest people on earth. Governments can’t alone fight the fat and will require a whole gamut of tools such as PE and private sector involvement and better regulations, believes Bank of America Merrill Lynch. CONTINUE READING

Romney’s ‘Culture’ Comments Ignore Palestinian Hardships Romney’s ‘Culture’ Comments Ignore Palestinian Hardships(0)
<dt >

betta design / Foter

While American bias towards Israel is the stuff of legend, Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican candidate for the U.S. Presidency, went the extra mile and credited Israel’s ‘culture’ for its success during this recent trip to the region. CONTINUE READING

End Game In Syria? End Game In Syria?(0)

The attack on key figures of the Syrian regime has turned the mood in Damascus. Will the conflict get bloodier before it ends? CONTINUE READING

Isolating Iran Isolating Iran(0)

Efforts to bar Iran from oil markets and still keep oil prices relatively low has been a masterstroke by US and its allies. Such measures could a long way in getting concessions from Iran on its controversial nuclear programme and ease regional tensions…. CONTINUE READING

Middle East’s 450,000 Richest Have USD1.7-Trillion Middle East’s 450,000 Richest Have USD1.7-Trillion(0)

2011 was the year the world’s richest got poorer – but not in the Middle East, where the richest increased their worth to USD 1.7 trillion. CONTINUE READING

Middle East’s Greatest Risk? Scary Water Scarcity Middle East’s Greatest Risk? Scary Water Scarcity(0)

A new study by Maplecroft reaffirms that the world’s running out of easy access to water and the Middle East is at greatest risk. CONTINUE READING

Popular Posts

Sorry. No data so far.

Contacts and information

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.

Social networks

Most popular categories

Buy This Theme
© 2011 Gadgetine Wordpress theme by orange-themes.com All rights reserved.