Finance articles

Abdul Razzak Achour

Cultivating an aura

Cultivating an aura

Fenicia Bank has a relatively quiet profile in the banking sector. While having a headquarters in downtown Beirut, the bank has just 17 branches dotted around the country, and does minimal marketing or advertising to bring in more clients and depositors. This is a calculated move, says Abdul Razzak Achour, chair and general manager, to go

Dome over Springfield, from "The Simpsons Movie"

Bouncing back

Three benchmark indices got a welcomed reprieve from selloffs, leading Arab markets in the 27th week of the year. The Dubai Financial Market — home of the Arabtec scandal that triggered a pummelling of markets over the previous weeks — saw its benchmark index advance 4.2 percent amid trading volumes of more than 1 billion shares in three

Arabtec's Burj Khalifa Dubai

Fallen angels

The final trading week in June demonstrated that markets in the Middle East and North Africa are neither highly resilient nor diversified, despite having greatly advanced since the region’s 2008 immersion into the Great Recession. The best gainer of all MENA stock markets in the 26th week of the year was Kuwait’s KSE Index, which

The Arch, the Harbourside Building, and the International Commerce Center in Hong Kong, China

Shaky hopes

Of $1.45 trillion in Foreign Direct Investment inflows in 2013, more than two thirds were directed at 42 developed and 10 developing countries. According to the 2014 World Investment Report released last week by UN trade and development body UNCTAD, $566 billion FDI went into developed economies, by which the organization means 30 of 34

A Mediterranean affair

June 11 saw €121 million ($164.7 million) of European Investment Bank (EIB) financing extended to the Lebanese private sector in four transactions. Two of these came via loans worth €45 million ($61.3 million) apiece to Byblos Bank and Fransabank. The other two were equity investments, one of €11 million ($15 million) in First National Bank

Dubai skyline

Crash and burn

A rather spectacular governance lesson came this past week from Dubai-listed construction and development group Arabtec Holding. The company, presumably driven by a mixture of its own daring ambitions and the resurgent construction business in the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries, had seen its share price double in roughly two months between mid-January and mid-April.

Partygoers at the Let It Snow event.

Just the ticket

It was a long time coming. When Al-Mawarid Bank and local startup Presella jointly announced the bank’s equity participation in the company yesterday, it had been almost a year since Banque du Liban (BDL) created the funding mechanism that would support this type of deal. Mawarid’s investment in Presella was the first to be approved by

Guarding a fragile future

Guarding a fragile future

It could have been a very boring report. In the big picture of Lebanese banking, the classic performance parameters are rather well behaved this year. Assets of commercial banks stood at $166.5 billion at the end of March according to Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank — up by $1.68 billion from the end

A user withdraws money from the Iraqi Warka Bank ATM (automatic teller machine) in Ghelan Square in central Baghdad on August 18, 2008. This machine, one of the few working in the Iraqi capital, falls in the middle of a street market where dozens use it every day.

Banking on the future of Iraq

Lebanese banks have enjoyed a long history of Iraqi businessmen coming to the country and banking here, or so boasts Makram Sader, secretary general of the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL). Now it is the banks that are taking their businesses to Iraq. But while the banks see a lot of promise in the

Muscat Securities Market - Oman

MSCI continues to drive markets

Modest gains were dominant on Arab exchanges in June’s first week. Index movements in nine of the twelve markets during the week were by less than two percent — except for a renewed hike in the EGX 30 and corrections in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, which were all between three and four percent. Besides Egypt’s