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Weakening oil prices leave Oman in the lurch Weakening oil prices leave Oman in the lurch(0)

Oman’s prospects for additional revenue are “dim”, according to Moody’s Ratings Agency. CONTINUE READING

UIC Digital Collections / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Oman under threat as public spending balloons Oman under threat as public spending balloons(0)

Oman’s public spending levels are rising at a brisk pace, pushing the country’s budget breakeven oil price to USD 103 per barrel… CONTINUE READING

chooyutshing / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
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

 

Oman’s quiet boom Oman’s quiet boom(0)

 

© Salim Photography/ www.salimphoto.com / Foter / CC BY

While regional stalwarts Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait grab all the economic headlines, the Omani economy is quietly showing impressive growth and resilience. CONTINUE READING

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

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

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

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

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

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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How The S&P Downgrade Impacts the Gulf States How The S&P Downgrade Impacts the Gulf States(0)

The Standard & Poor’s  downgrade of the U.S. economy was the great unthinkable just a few months ago. They are now a stark reality. While the short-term impact may not be immediate – save for market gyrations, it is long-term implications are clear: the U.S. economy is no longer the safest, the most dynamic and the most enduring in the world, and U.S. Treasuries – may be not tomorrow but certainly over time – will no longer the safe havens everybody counted on.

The Gulf states which have aligned itself to the U.S. Dollar in more ways than one, also need to think radically outside their dollar-filled box. While, don’t expect Gulf states to publicly speak negatively about the U.S. economy or the dollar, one certainly hopes that behind closed doors, there is a concerted hope to realign the regional economies to the new realities. READ MORE HERE
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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

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

Middle East Countries Fall In Peace Index Middle East Countries Fall In Peace Index(0)

Qatar, which has been beating its regional rival on economic performance, has also won the title of the most peaceful country in the Middle East North Africa region.

The Institute of Economics & Peace, bestowed the number one regional ranking to Qatar in its annual Global Peace Index (GPI) 2011. READ MORE HERE
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$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

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

Great Arab Job Hunt: Unemployment costs MENA $40-50 Billlion A Year – McKinsey Great Arab Job Hunt: Unemployment costs MENA $40-50 Billlion A Year – McKinsey(0)

The region loses $40-50-billion in economic loss due to youth unemployment, notes a McKinsey report. The problem will only get worse due to huge mismatch between the skills required for jobs and those on offer. 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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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

MENA Growth Prospects Hurt by Egypt Crisis MENA Growth Prospects Hurt by Egypt Crisis(0)

As events in Egypt change faster than you can update them on Twitter or Facebook, regional authorities are looking at the short-term and long-term impact of the crisis on their own economies. Read More

Growth Retraction Fears in Middle East Growth Retraction Fears in Middle East(0)

As events in Egypt change faster than you can update them on Twitter or Facebook, regional authorities are looking at the short-term and long-term impact of the crisis on their own economies. Read More

Oman needs greater aspirations Oman needs greater aspirations(1)

The IMF warns greater initiatives and greater monetary policy independence to break out of future boom and bust spending cycles. Read More

Statistically Speaking: Impact of Oil at $100 on MidEast GDPs Statistically Speaking: Impact of Oil at $100 on MidEast GDPs(0)

Oil prices are poised to hit the magical $100 per barrel once again and economists, analysts have taken out the proverbial calculators to see what it means for oil-based economies of the Middle East. 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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