Author Archives: Natacha Tannous

Money talk

Reading Time: 4 minutes Financial markets have rallied significantly from mid-February to mid-March, supported by several events including, but not limited to, the G20 summit, the Chinese National People’s Congress meeting, the expansion of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) quantitative easing and the Federal Open Market Committee’s March session being more dovish than expected.  So what’s next for global

Everyone’s watching the dollar

Reading Time: 7 minutes   United States currency policy concerns almost everyone: the Chinese, who hold some $876 billion in US treasury bills; the Middle East and North Africa, where nearly every nation’s currency is pegged to the dollar; and financial markets the world over. But only one of these concerned parties from around the globe is actually responsible

Executive Insight – Value over quality

Reading Time: 5 minutes Fear and panic drove the markets through most of August causing more than $4 trillion in wealth destruction, while policymakers responded with “soft patches” and short-term solutions to what are structural and fundamental sovereign-debt problems on either side of the Atlantic. During the week of August 8 the S&P500 — best single gauge of the

Euro vs. dollar in 2011

Reading Time: 5 minutes   Finding the answer to the euro/dollar exchange rate equation is like evaluating two sides of the same coin. The question is, which one will land face up, and when? The answer, however, is dividing the brightest and most influential financial minds around the world into two camps with radically different forecasts for the year

Balance sheet blues

Reading Time: 2 minutes Running the gauntlet that is Gulf finances these days, Emirati bank balance sheets are being battered; double-teamed by deteriorating asset quality and non-performing loans. Fortunately for them, however, the fight is effectively rigged, as both the government and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates have readied their checkbooks to pay up whatever it

Beware the black swan

Reading Time: 3 minutes Forecast to reach an altitude of $55.4 billion by year’s end, the precarious flight of Lebanon’s arrears is ruffling far too few feathers among our policy makers. Instead, they’re counting on economic growth to dilute the debt by reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio, which differing sources currently place around 150 percent. In the words of Finance

Credit Suisse – Adel Afiouni

Reading Time: 5 minutes Credit Suisse held its first Middle East and North Africa Equities Conference in Beirut this month, bringing together more than 40 corporates from around the region. Executive sat with Adel Afiouni, managing director of the bank’s investment division, to discuss debt, Dubai and the financial future of the MENA region. E  This is the first

Public finances – Slave to a ravenous debt

Reading Time: 9 minutes   Lebanon’s outstanding debt reached $51.5 billion at the end of the first quarter, while this year’s budget — if endorsed by Parliament — has slated $4.3 billion for debt servicing, accounting for as much as one third of overall spending. The stock of debt, currently estimated at 147 percent of gross domestic product, towers