Economics and Policy
Lebanon’s GDP is expected to grow at 1.4 percent in 2013 in the face of mostly poor economic indicators, global bank HSBC has said, downgrading their previous estimate of 2 percent.
Dubai’s measure hit a 40-month high on Tuesday as investors betting on upbeat first-quarter earnings extended a buying spree, while Saudi Arabia’s bourse also rose, breaking strong technical resistance.
Egypt’s prime minister Mohammed Morsi is due in Qatar for talks with his country’s biggest Gulf Arab financial backer as Cairo is negotiating for an IMF loan to help ease a deepening economic crisis.
Lebanese consumer confidence dropped to a near record low in the second half of 2012, according to a new report.
Companies and Strategies
Electricite du Liban workers will stage sit-ins and suspend work on April 10 and 11 to protest the annulment of basic articles in the company’s new budget.
Saudi Hollandi Bank and Saudi British Bank (SABB) beat estimates for first-quarter net profit, with both lenders attributing the growth in earnings to higher operating income.
Doha Bank, Qatar’s fifth-largest lender by market value, plans to nearly double its profits from international operations by 2015, mirroring a strategy employed by other Gulf Arab lenders facing intense competition at home.
Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) has sold a $500 million five-year Islamic bond at tighter pricing than initially indicated due to strong demand for sharia-compliant debt from the Gulf Arab region.
Etihad Airways’ president and CEO James Hogan has said it is “very clear” the airline cannot catch regional giant Emirates.