Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

The only way is up

The only way is up

Reading Time: 6 minutes The term ‘stock market’ has quite a ring to it, particularly in the mouths of emotionally-invested stock market officials. Listening to them explaining the appeal and importance of securities trading is more like reading poetry: “the stock exchange has made our hearts beat faster” and the securities market is “the main mirror of the economy.”

Beware the blind spot

Reading Time: 3 minutes   Lebanon has long represented to Middle Eastern insurance operators what Eton stands for in relation to Anglo-Saxon education – it is one of the oldest insurance sectors in the region, has produced a substantial portion of the leading individuals in the industry and prides itself on containing some of the highest skill concentrations. And

An issue of trust

Reading Time: 8 minutes   The Arab World’s 16 active stock markets’ combined market capitalization in the fourth quarter of 2010 amounted to substantially more than $900 billion, confirming that Middle East and North African (MENA) equity markets are an increasingly important force in regional economic development. The performance was not all sunny, however. Market indices for member institutions

Chasing the dragon

Reading Time: 3 minutes With monster-sized bank offerings and strong growth in primary markets activity,  the global landscape of initial public offerings made a strong showing in the first seven months of 2010. However, in Arab markets, the picture included pea-sized volumes, vastly overestimated listing numbers and IPOs that went into hiding.   Keeping count of initial public offerings in

Who dares, wins

Reading Time: 3 minutes Branding has traits of parenting. Although it takes energy, vision, and a gutsy approach to business life — and as such is no small feat — the effort of conceiving of a new brand pales when compared with the unending task of nurturing it and seeing it through years and years of maturation. On this

Corporate conscience

Reading Time: 3 minutes Last month, the United Nations and the World Bank released global performance reports on private sector immersion and country level achievements in the crucial areas of social responsibility and governance. The UN corporate citizenship initiative for joint efforts with the private sector business community goes by the name of Global Compact. According to the organization’s

Dubai and Halliburton hardly an ideal match, business is business

Reading Time: 3 minutes When US oil services behemoth Halliburton said this springit was moving its corporate headquarters to Dubai, exudationof praises ensued at full throttle. Maestro developerMohammed Alabbar of Emaar grandeur for example recentlycited the move as proof that a global city is underconstruction in Dubai with no real estate bubble about toburst. Local and regional commentators from

Stormy weather ahead for BMed as potential investors circle

Reading Time: 4 minutes The skies between the Levant and London got a little cloudier at the start of the year, as airline BMed admitted it had suffered such substantial losses in 2005 and 2006 that its main stakeholders refused to pump more cash into the operation. According to the Times of London, BMed reported profits of $10 million

Shifting trade winds Blowing Lebanon’s way

Reading Time: 6 minutes Lebanese trade patterns are in for further changes in 2007, but it’s not armed conflict that will force alternative trade routes on the country’s many importing merchants and exporting manufacturers. Change will come because of world market realities. Overall, according to the numbers currently available from Lebanese customs, the nation’s exports last year developed handsomely

Turkey’s CA woes Reform needed

Reading Time: 3 minutes With the release of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF)’s report on the fourth and fifth review for Turkey’s standby agreement, the state of the country’s finances has come under fresh scrutiny from market observers, with ongoing concern over the size of the current account (CA) deficit. Strong economic growth coupled with high oil prices has

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