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North Africa walks job creation tightrope North Africa walks job creation tightrope(0)

While policymakers across North Africa look to revamp political structures in the region, unemployment is reaching alarming proportions. CONTINUE READING

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Nurturing democracy startup Tunisia Nurturing democracy startup Tunisia(0)

The prime minister of Tunisia recently called his country a “democracy startup”. CONTINUE READING

Moroccan banks eye new growth venues Moroccan banks eye new growth venues(0)

Moroccan banks are venturing into Islamic banking and new Sub-Saharan markets to quench their thirst for growth. CONTINUE READING

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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

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Troubled Arab states struggle to deliver on jobs Troubled Arab states struggle to deliver on jobs(0)

Oil-importing Arab countries need to create seven million jobs through 2018 to cut soaring unemployment levels, but are unlikely to achieve that target with modest GDP growth rates, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). CONTINUE READING

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Sisi victory unlikely to usher in bold economic reform Sisi victory unlikely to usher in bold economic reform(0)

Egyptians are looking to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to breathe life back into the economy following his victory in presidential elections, but analysts say the former field marshal is unlikely to pursue bold structural reforms. 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

Access to education a challenge in Arab world Access to education a challenge in Arab world(0)

More than 8.5 million children in the Arab world remain out of school, presenting a huge socio-economic challenge for regional authorities. CONTINUE READING

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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

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Deserted Egyptian hotels reflect impact of turmoil Deserted Egyptian hotels reflect impact of turmoil(0)

Egypt’s hotel occupancy rates continue to fall as the country’s hospitality sector reels from the continued political turmoil. CONTINUE READING

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Global appetite for North African gas remains strong Global appetite for North African gas remains strong(0)

Chinese oil and gas giant Sinopec’s recent USD 3.1 billion bet on Egyptian natural gas highlights the country’s huge energy prospects, despite the major political challenges facing the country. CONTINUE READING

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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

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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

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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.

SODIC, or Sixth of October For Development and Investment Company, saw strong new sales in the second quarter published on September 4. CONTINUE READING

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Speculation is rife for Moroccan oil and gas Speculation is rife for Moroccan oil and gas(0)

It’s early days yet, but several international companies are sniffing around Morocco’s offshore basins in the hunt for oil and gas. CONTINUE READING

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Sub-Saharan Africa rates steady despite inflation spike Sub-Saharan Africa rates steady despite inflation spike(0)

Interest rates are on hold in many Sub-Saharan African countries despite fears of inflation rearing its head again, as the region hopes to maintain growth amid a lukewarm global economic environment. CONTINUE READING

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Political revolt leaves Egyptian economy struggling Political revolt leaves Egyptian economy struggling(0)

Government expenditure has risen 45%, taxes 28% and subsidies 79% since the Egyptian revolution, according to a new report. CONTINUE READING

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Egypt risks debt default as political impasse continues Egypt risks debt default as political impasse continues(0)

Egypt is the fifth most likely country set to default according to latest data from S&P Capital IQ. CONTINUE READING

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Egypt politics keep investors on the sidelines Egypt politics keep investors on the sidelines(0)

The Egyptian market soared more than 7% as news of the Muslim Brotherhood government’s ouster was announced and investors hoped it would lead to greater market-focused economic decision-making. CONTINUE READING

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No light yet at the end of Egypt’s political tunnel No light yet at the end of Egypt’s political tunnel(0)

In an ironic twist, the Egyptian army has saved democracy-seeking citizens from the Muslim Brotherhood. And while there is much rejoicing among the liberal, secular and even Salafists, the army may have set a dangerous precedent. CONTINUE READING

freestylee / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Africa ready to give US a run for its shale money Africa ready to give US a run for its shale money(0)

Algeria has the third largest shale gas reserves in the world, according to the latest research from the Energy Information Administration, the US Department of Energy’s statistical arm. CONTINUE READING

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MENA rises to room challenge with 483 hotels MENA rises to room challenge with 483 hotels(0)

Around 483 hotels comprising nearly 119,000 rooms are in the development stage in the Middle East North Africa, according to STR Global. CONTINUE READING

Socio-political tension keeps Tunisia on edge Socio-political tension keeps Tunisia on edge(0)

Tunisia, ground zero of the Arab Spring, is struggling under the weight of expectations… CONTINUE READING

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Libya on shaky ground as insurgency rises Libya on shaky ground as insurgency rises(0)

Libya’s economic figures are the envy of the world, but the country teeters on the edge of dysfunction. CONTINUE READING

IMF loan may be sole lifeline for Egypt IMF loan may be sole lifeline for Egypt(0)

The Egyptian economy appears to be free falling as crisis after crisis seems to chip away at business confidence. CONTINUE READING

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Strong macro drives Morocco’s investment appeal Strong macro drives Morocco’s investment appeal(0)
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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

Strong macro drives Morocco’s investment appeal Strong macro drives Morocco’s investment appeal(0)

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

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Arab Tourism Threat Arab Tourism Threat(0)

WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com) / Travel Photos / CC BY-NC

The Arab World is getting hotter and drier, and there is a danger that the snow-peaked caps of Lebanon, Arabian Gulf coastal areas and coral reefs threaten the tourism industry, a new report warns. CONTNUE READING

100 Million Tourists For MENA Countries 100 Million Tourists For MENA Countries(0)
betta design / Foter / CC BY-NC

The Middle East tourism industry’s progress was cut short by the Arab Spring crisis and it’s still reeling from the after shocks that reverberate in countries across the region. CONTINUE READING

Arab Countries In Transition Arab Countries In Transition(0)
freestylee / Foter / CC BY

Countries hit by the promising but disruptive Arab Spring will need financing to the tune of USD43-billion next year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 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

Algeria: Slow growth despite high oil prices Algeria: Slow growth despite high oil prices(0)
Mohsan’ / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

While neighboring regimes crashed and burned, the Algerian government remained largely unmoved and continues its firm grip on the country. CONTINUE READING

Egypt’s energy prospects Egypt’s energy prospects(0)
Joonas Plaan / Foter / CC BY

BP’s decision to reportedly spend USD11-billion in Egypt’s deep-water gas deposits is a significant move by the oil major which could be a game-changer for the country’s economy. CONTINUE READING

M&A buzz In Egypt M&A buzz In Egypt(0)

Investors are circling around Egypt’s key sectors, looking for opportunities and bargains on undervalued prices of key assets.
The economic fallout from the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt has changed the landscape radically and offered new opportunities for regional investors. CONTINUE READING

4.5m MENA infrastructure jobs 4.5m MENA infrastructure jobs(0)
CharlesFred / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

One of the core reasons why Arab youth spilled on to the streets during the Arab Spring was their inability to get decent employment. Joblessness – which is attached to human dignity and viewed as a platform for many to further and better themselves in their country – drove many to orchestrate sweeping political changes in their own countries. CONTINUE READING

Egypt’s FDI Quest Egypt’s FDI Quest(0)

The Egyptian economy has managed to avoid the worst, but it needs foreign investment to get better. CONTINUE READING

Qaddafi’s Weapons Qaddafi’s Weapons(0)

Libya’s transformation from being the personal fiefdom of Moammer Gaddafi to a fledgling democracy is an incredible achievement. CONTINUE READING

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Mr_CRO / Foter
North African States Exposed To EU North African States Exposed To EU(0)

Morocco, Egypt, Libya and Algeria are at high risk to a Eurozone meltdown, but Gulf states hardly have reason to be complacent, according to new research. CONTINUE READING

Morsi’s Moment Morsi’s Moment(0)

In a brilliant stroke, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi removed and retired Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the defence minister and the leading Supreme Council of armed Forces figure, apart from heads of the navy, airforce and air defence. In addition, Lieutenant General Sami Enan also stepped down as the Army’s Chief-of- Staff. CONTINUE READING

Egypt’s Banks: A Better 2013? Egypt’s Banks: A Better 2013?(0)

With politics dictating Egypt’s economy, analysts expect the banking sector to recover only by next year. Also, can Egyptian banks survive a devaluation of the pound? CONTINUE READING

Qandil Who? Qandil Who?(0)

As Egyptians Google the name of their unknown Prime Minister to find out more about him, the economic ills of the country are well-known to all. CONTINUE READING

Morsi: Uniter Or Divider? Morsi: Uniter Or Divider?(0)

S&P may have been quick to put Egypt’s sovereign rating on negative watch, but as the Egyptian bourse highlighted with a 7.5% rise, the election of Mohamed Morsi should be seen as progress and a step forward for the country – despite the challenges ahead…. CONTINUE READING

Trials & Opportunities In Tunisia Trials & Opportunities In Tunisia(0)

Unemployment and corruption persists in Tunisia, with religious tensions also coming to the fore. But is the world expecting too much, too soon from Tunisia? And can Libya’s reconstruction needs give Tunisian economy a fillip?… CONTINUE READING

Egypt’s fiscal trap Egypt’s fiscal trap(0)

EFG expects the economy to post a 3% growth this year, after contracting nearly 1% in 2011. But it has largely been a jobless recovery as unemployment stands at a decade high of little over 12%. READ MORE HERE

Fast-growing Libya Fast-growing Libya(0)

The Libyan economy is set to grow by 20%, the fastest in Africa, and easily among the fastest in an otherwise depressed global economy. CONTINUE READING

Here comes the sun: Solar power in MENA Here comes the sun: Solar power in MENA(0)

It’s such a waste: enough sunlight reaches the earth in 90 minutes to provide the entire planet’s need for one year, according to the International Energy Agency.

And even though the Middle East is awash with sunshine virtually all year around, it has taken a while for solar to start gaining traction. CONTINUE READING

Morsy vs Shafiq Morsy vs Shafiq(0)

With the original Egyptian revolutionaries routed in both the parliamentary and presidential elections, the hapless citizens are now weighing the pros and cons of the two remaining presidential candidates -Mohamed Morsy, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate representing Egypt’s Islamic bloc, and Ahmed Shafiq, a former military man and the country’s former prime minister, who is widely seen as a remnant of the country’s last regime. CONTINUE READING

Stunning Pictures of Egyptian Pyramids & Dubai Jumeirah By AirPano Stunning Pictures of Egyptian Pyramids & Dubai Jumeirah By AirPano(0)
WEF: How Trade-Friendly Is The Middle East? WEF: How Trade-Friendly Is The Middle East?(0)

Gulf economies, led by the UAE, have fared quite well in a World Economic Forum focused on world’s trade-friendliness and access to global markets.

The UAE was ranked 19th among 132 countries in an in-depth survey conducted by the World Economic Forum. Oman, with a global ranking of 25, surprisingly emerged second among Arab countries, with Saudi Arabia close at its heel, at 27. READ MORE HERE

$17-Bn MENA Solar Power Projects to Fire Up Renewables Drive $17-Bn MENA Solar Power Projects to Fire Up Renewables Drive(0)

It’s such a waste: enough sunlight reaches the earth in 90 minutes to provide the entire planet’s need for one year, according to the International Energy Agency. READ  MORE HERE

Pink Sherbet Photography / Foter
What Egypt Needs What Egypt Needs(0)

While the world’s eyes are trained on Egypt’s historic presidential elections, the country’s citizens are hoping the new president – whoever it may be – brings in much need political and economic stability. READ MORE HERE

Amr Moussa as president? Amr Moussa as president?(0)
Guillaume Paumier / Foter

An opinion poll by Cairo-based Ahram Centre For Political and Strategic Studies placed former foreign minister Amr Moussa as the frontrunner in the presidential elections, with 41% of the votes – increasing his lead by 2 percentage points from the same poll a month earlier.  READ MORE HERE

Egypt’s 4% Growth Still Possible: Deutsche Bank Egypt’s 4% Growth Still Possible: Deutsche Bank(0)

The Egyptian economy could grow by 4% in the current fiscal year despite a plethora of challenges facing the country. 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

Libya’s 9 Challenges Libya’s 9 Challenges(0)

Libya’s oil sector has returned quickly to full speed, but the rest of the country remains in a state of disrepair. Maplecroft identifies at least nine key challenges facing the country.

While Libya has done well in ramping up oil production to near pre-civil war levels, much remains to be done. READ MORE HERE

 

What To Do About Egypt’s Contracting GDP What To Do About Egypt’s Contracting GDP(0)

The Egyptian economy contracted by 0.3% in the fourth quarter ending a politically-momentous but economically-forgettable year for the country.  READ MORE HERE

mmoneib /Free Photos

 

Egypt’s Energy Sector Still Has Life Egypt’s Energy Sector Still Has Life(0)

A spate of new announcements from international oil companies suggests Egypt’s mature oil and gas sector remains formidable.

Despite significant political and economic problems in Egypt and falling crude production levels, the country’s oil and gas sector remains attractive to international companies. READ MORE HERE

 

Libya Revisited Libya Revisited(0)

The figures are in: Libya’s civil war cost the country a 60% contraction in GDP as forces loyal to maverick leader Moammer Gaddafi tried in vain to contain the rising tide of rebels eager to rid the country of the brutal dictator.

With NATO air cover and Arab arms and financing feeding the rebels, it was inevitable that the regime would fall. What was even more inevitable was Colonel’s Gaddafi’s death at the hands of a ragtag army of rebels in the most grisly fashion on the streets of Sirte. READ MORE HERE

Human Rights Watch: From Arab Spring To Arab Autumn? Human Rights Watch: From Arab Spring To Arab Autumn?(0)

Human Rights Watch reports, by their very nature, never present a rosy outlook as they are given to highlighting the atrocities of governments and the lack of dignity and freedom they present to millions of their hapless citizens across the world.

And so its 2012 World Report is no exception. Paying special emphasis to Arab Spring, the report grimly notes that while the revolutions that broke out across the region euphoric, there is nothing inevitable about transitions to democracy. READ MORE HERE

500 New Hotels Under Construction In The Middle East 500 New Hotels Under Construction In The Middle East(0)

Love My Tours /Foter

Close to 500 new hotels – or 496 to be exact – are being built in the Middle East Africa region, according to STR Global, the hospitality consultancy.

These hotels will feature 133,438 rooms, according to the consultancy, with Dubai leading the way with 13,349 rooms under construction. READ MORE HERE

Riyadh And Jeddah Are Second And Third Fastest Growing Cities In World Riyadh And Jeddah Are Second And Third Fastest Growing Cities In World(0)

Riyadh and Jeddah had a stellar 2010-2011, clocking the second and third highest growth rates in the world according to The Brookings Institution’s 2011 Global MetroMonitor.

Their performance was only bettered by the Chinese economic engine Shanghai, which saw its income rise nearly 10% during the 2010-11 period. READ MORE HERE

Egypt Now Among Top Ten Sovereigns Most Likely To Default: Report Egypt Now Among Top Ten Sovereigns Most Likely To Default: Report(0)
enggul /Foter

January 15, 2012

Egypt is now among the ten riskiest sovereigns in the world, according to the latest report from CMA Datavision. In other words, Egypt is among the nations most likely to default on its debt.

While that does not necessarily mean that Egypt will default, its spread has risen as investors are nervous that the country could default.  READ MORE HERE

Can the NTC Unite Libya? Can the NTC Unite Libya?(0)

While the international community saw Libyans collectively rise up against the rule of Moammar Gaddafi and saw the emergence of the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the unifying force, the reality on the ground is quite different.

A new study by the International Crisis Group (ICG) brings into sharp focus the rivalries, the complexities and the number of militias, groups, and secular and religious parties that have come to the fore and are jostling for attention and representation in the new Libya. 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

MENA Projects: Saudi Arabia Still the Driving Force; UAE Slowdown Continues MENA Projects: Saudi Arabia Still the Driving Force; UAE Slowdown Continues(0)

Excerpt from Citibank report:

In October this year, $16.9bn of projects were awarded across MENA. On a cumulative basis, just over $82bn of projects have been awarded across the region in the year to end October. This compares favourably with FY10 when almost $80bn of projects were awarded. Saudi Arabia is the main driving force accounting for a third of the 2011 total. Iraq accounts for 20%.The UAE has awarded almost $14bn in the year to end October, almost $20bn below FY10.
Read More

SPECIAL COMMENT: The Arab Spring Could Turn Into A Long And Cruel Winter SPECIAL COMMENT: The Arab Spring Could Turn Into A Long And Cruel Winter(0)

By Alon Ben-Meir

Due to a host of common denominators in the Arab world including the lack of traditional liberalism, the tribes’ power, the elites’ control of business, the hold on power by ethnic minorities, the military that cling to power, and the religious divide and Islamic extremism, the Arab Spring could sadly turn into a long and cruel winter. These factors are making the transformation into a more reformist governance, slow, filled with hurdles and punctuated with intense bloodshed. At the same time, each Arab country differs characteristically from one another on other dimensions including: history and culture, demographic composition, the role of the military, resources, and geostrategic situations. This combination of commonality and uniqueness has had, and will continue to have, significant impacts on how the uprising in each Arab country evolves and what kind of political order might eventually emerge.

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Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco Elections: Give Islamists A Chance Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco Elections: Give Islamists A ChanceComments Off

Whether western countries and ME liberals like it or not, Islamic parties have emerged victorious in elections in North African states. Before typecasting and dismissing them, Islamic parties deserve to get a fair chance at leading their people.

The Western world and media are terrified of the rise of Islamic parties in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. READ MORE HERE

Egypt’s Ten Key Post-Election Challenges Egypt’s Ten Key Post-Election Challenges(0)

Egyptians have achieved a major milestone by holding the first leg of their staggered parliamentary elections, and they can take a moment to rejoice. But they know better than anyone else that the road to fulfilling their destiny is strewn with many more hurdles. READ MORE HERE

Will Egypt’s Spring Turn To Autumn? Will Egypt’s Spring Turn To Autumn?(0)

On the eve of the elections, Egyptians have washed off much of the feel-good afterglow of the first revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak. Now they are faced with the cold hard light of economic hardship and political uncertainty.

While Egypt’s first revolution earlier this year was full of hope and a spontaneity that surprised even the protestors, the second revolution less than 10 months later has a much sombre undertone. READ MORE HERE

An Economic Model For Arab Spring Countries: UAE, Turkey, Malaysia Or Indonesia? An Economic Model For Arab Spring Countries: UAE, Turkey, Malaysia Or Indonesia?(0)

Arab countries that have recently been liberated from the clutches of their dictators are searching for a path to prosperity. For many, the political and social and economic achievements of Turkey is worthy of emulation. Indeed, the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is somewhat seen as a rock star among the youth of the Arab world.

But a new study by Legatum Institute, focused on the prosperity of nations, wonders whether Arab countries could consider alternative growth models. READ MORE HERE

Arab Spring: A New Era In A Transforming Globe Arab Spring: A New Era In A Transforming Globe(0)

By Alon Ben-Meir

November 8, 2011

The Arab uprising must be seen as an integral part of a world in transformation. The technological and informational revolutions that have spurred (and continue to spur) globalization and interconnectedness between cultures make it impossible for tyrants to rule for the entirety of their lifetimes while mercilessly subjugating their peoples to lives of servitude with no prospect of ever tasting the true meaning of freedom.
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More Bad News For Egypt As Moody’s Downgrades Five Banks More Bad News For Egypt As Moody’s Downgrades Five Banks(0)
Travel Aficionado /Foter

Moody’s Investors Service has today downgraded the local-currency (LC) deposit ratings of the following five Egyptian banks:
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Did Gaddafi Die As The Richest Man In The World? Did Gaddafi Die As The Richest Man In The World?(0)

While the world fixates on whether Colonel Gaddafi died as the richest man in the world, with $200-billion ferreted away, ordinary Libyans focus on pulling themselves out of poverty in a country in disarray. READ MORE HERE
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‘Mission Accomplished’ In Libya & Iraq? ‘Mission Accomplished’ In Libya & Iraq?(0)

By George Friedman

In a week when the European crisis continued building, the White House chose publicly to focus on announcements about the end of wars. The death of Moammar Gadhafi was said to mark the end of the war in Libya, and excitement about a new democratic Libya abounded. Regarding Iraq, the White House transformed the refusal of the Iraqi government to permit U.S. troops to remain into a decision by Washington instead of an Iraqi rebuff.
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Post-Gaddafi Libya: $30Bn Needed To Raise Oil Production Post-Gaddafi Libya: $30Bn Needed To Raise Oil Production(0)

It’s ironic that the man who used his formidable oil assets as a weapon to hold his people – and the world – hostage, saw little reaction from oil markets upon his death.
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Graphic Video Content: The Final Moments of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi Graphic Video Content: The Final Moments of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi(0)

Despite its graphic content, it is an important historical moment in the region. Hence, reposting with caveats and warnings that it is very graphic content of the final moments of the Libyan dictator – apologies in advance:


The Initial Moments of Gaddafi’s Capture – Exclusive From Globalpost.com:

Arab Spring-Related Economic Losses For Affected Countries: $56-Billion Arab Spring-Related Economic Losses For Affected Countries: $56-Billion(0)

The Arab Spring not only cost at least three dictators their jobs but also $56-billlion in lost GDP for the worst affected countries, according to a statistical study by a consulting firm. READ MORE HERE

CBS 60 Minutes Video: Egyptians return to Tahrir Square CBS 60 Minutes Video: Egyptians return to Tahrir Square(0)

An excellent CBS 60 Minutes report on political life in Egypt eight months after Hosni Mubarak’s departure (Dated Oct 8), especially in light of recent sectarian clashes:
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Analysis: New Phase Of Protests In Cairo Analysis: New Phase Of Protests In Cairo(0)

Coptic Christian protesters clashed with pro-government forces Oct. 9, killing at least 23 people and injuring 180. If reports of protesters using firearms and violence against security forces are true, this would mark a distinct change in the tactics of such dissenters, as opposition forces may be turning more violent ahead of scheduled parliamentary elections. However, the violence will likely ultimately help the ruling military council, providing it an excuse to slow its plans to hand over power and possibly rallying support from parts of the Egyptian population.
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And The 5 Worst Performing Stock Markets In The World Are… And The 5 Worst Performing Stock Markets In The World Are…(0)

A short list of the world’s top 5 worst performing markets by end of September 2011.
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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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MENA Needs 3.5 Million New ‘Affordable’ Homes, says Jones Lang LaSalle MENA Needs 3.5 Million New ‘Affordable’ Homes, says Jones Lang LaSalle(0)

The MENA region has a shortage of 3.5 million affordable dwellings, with Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Saudi Arabia suffering from the biggest shortfalls.

For all the boom (and subsequent busts) in the regional real estate markets, there remains a shortage of a little more than 3.5 million units of affordable housing in the MENA region, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, the real estate consultants.

The largest shortfalls are in the markets of Egypt (1,500,000), Iraq (1,000,000), Morocco (600,000) and Saudi Arabia (400,000), but other Gulf markets also face shortages, brought upon by a host of factors. READ MORE HERE

Predicting Black Swans Predicting Black Swans(0)

Could the Arab Spring have been predicted? More significant, could we have predicted that Saudi Arabia will remain stable throughout the turmoil? Or even where Bin Laden was hiding? New data mining techniques suggest we can. READ MORE HERE

New Libya: Great Opportunities, Greater Challenges New Libya: Great Opportunities, Greater Challenges(0)

Ousting Moammer Gaddhafi may have been the easy part as the National Transitional Council mulls over the next steps to restore domestic stability and investor confidence back into the state.

The slate has not exactly been wiped clean, but it is the dawn of a new era in Libya. With Colonel Moammer Gaddhafi a fugitive in the country he ran with an iron fist for 42 years, the Libyan rebels’ National Transitional Council (NTC) has quickly emerged as the legitimate group running the country in the interim. READ MORE HERE
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Troubled Tunisians Wonder If Grassroots Revolution Will Not Raise Their Living Standards, What Will? Troubled Tunisians Wonder If Grassroots Revolution Will Not Raise Their Living Standards, What Will?(0)

As Tunisia prepares for elections in October, the chronic and fundamental weaknesses in the country’s political and economic structures are becoming evident.

While long-standing structural issues will take some time to address, external factors – such as economic problems in key trading partner Europe, and civil war in neighbouring Libya _ are further straining fragile economic growth. This has left many Tunisians wondering if a grassroots revolution will not help alleviate their lot, what will? 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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Morocco’s ‘hidden’ billionaire Morocco’s ‘hidden’ billionaire(0)

You won’t find Anas Sefrioui on  the Forbes richest list, but that does not mean he is not worthy of  their attention. Having raked in $2.6-billion, he has made it into Bloomberg’s short list of hidden billionaires.

The newswire notes that Sefrioui founded the property development company  Douja Promotion Groupe Addoha in 1988.

“With the help of government subsidies, the company has built more than  190,000 homes spanning almost 15,000 acres throughout Morocco.
It has diversified into cement and resorts… Sefrioui earned more than  $330million by selling shares during the company’s 2006 public offering
on the Casablanca Stock Exchange, filings show.”

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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

 

Global Petroleum Survey: Oil Companies See Iraq Fraught With Regulatory Hurdles; Qatar Tops Survey Global Petroleum Survey: Oil Companies See Iraq Fraught With Regulatory Hurdles; Qatar Tops Survey(0)

The Fraser Institute’s Global Petroleum Survey is the latest where super-rich Qatar beats its regional competitors’ as it pips them to the post as the Middle East’s most investment-friendly destination for petroleum exploration and development. 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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Dubai Among 10 Sovereigns Most Likely To Default Dubai Among 10 Sovereigns Most Likely To Default(0)

Gulf states saw their default risks subside considerably during the second quarter as investors shrugged off the Arab Spring and focused on the troubled EU states. Still, Dubai remained among the list of sovereigns most likely to default.

Dubai, which was ranked as the 7th most risky sovereign in the first quarter, is now at the edge of the list of 10 countries most likely to default, according to data from the second quarter of 2011. READ MORE HERE

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

Egypt Spurns The IMF And Rushes Into The Arms Of Gulf States Egypt Spurns The IMF And Rushes Into The Arms Of Gulf States(0)

Even as the Egyptian Government looks to revive the country’s economy, it has turned down the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s stand-by agreement. A bold move no doubt, but was it a populist decision or purely a financial one? And if the Egyptian Government’s decision to turn down the IMF a move to spurn Mubarak-praising entities, why is it borrowing from the Gulf?

Egypt’s decision to turn down International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank is a bold move, given that the country’s fiscal situation remains fragile. READ MORE HERE

HSBC Concerned About ‘Uneasiness’ In Saudi Arabia HSBC Concerned About ‘Uneasiness’ In Saudi Arabia(0)

 

HSBC’s forecast for the region’s three largest economies reveals its continued concerns for Saudi Arabia and Egypt, while it believes UAE’s status as a safe haven is revived.

HSBC expects Egypt’s GDP to rise a mere 0.2% in 2011, a far cry from the robust 5.1% growth in 2010. To be fair, a lot has changed in the country since the end of 2010. READ MORE HERE

What’s In Store For The Global Economy In Second Half What’s In Store For The Global Economy In Second Half(0)

As investors say goodbye to the first half of the year and brace themselves for a strange and uncertain world in the second half, the worry beads are already out.Global economies have stuttered, faced natural disaster of epic proportions, seen political upheavals that nobody could have forecasted and have seen new and old worries surface and resurface.Yet markets have remained resilient for the most part, commodity-driven economies have prospered and emerging economies are still managing to expand and grow.Here is a look at what is keeping investors awake at night and some bright spots in an increasingly uncertain world. 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.

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The Ball Is Is Still In Moroccan King Mohammed’s (Royal) Court The Ball Is Is Still In Moroccan King Mohammed’s (Royal) Court(0)
In a landmark speech the Moroccan king offered to reduce his powers under a new more democratic Constitution. Can this overture quell political descent and serve as a role model for other monarchies? 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

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