Economics & Policy articles

Oman – Docking infrastructure

Oman – Docking infrastructure

Reading Time: 5 minutes While construction workers are putting down their tools throughout the Gulf and the future of many massive infrastructure projects is in jeopardy, the Sultanate of Oman is bucking the regional trend by investing billions of dollars to bolster its nascent tourism sector, aviation sector and industrial base.Compared to its GCC neighbors that have spent lavishly

Private equity – The new playing field

Reading Time: 6 minutes Family offices are by nature conservative, but in recent years they have stepped out of their mold and began to invest in several asset classes including private equity (PE). This change in tack has earned them much profit over the past few years but it has also exposed them to the recent financial turbulence. In

Private equity – Bigger, fewer, more focused

Reading Time: 3 minutes   Predicating the future has never been an easy task and it has gotten no easier today. Charlatans with crystal balls are in ample supply however, especially when it comes to the lifeblood of the region. Last year when the price of oil was at around $150 a barrel, Merrill Lynch was predicting that the

Private equity – Where to scare up the cash

Reading Time: 3 minutes   In times of crisis come times of great opportunity, or so we are told. The proverb does seem to bear some truth, however, when applied to the regional private equity (PE) market. Perhaps for too long, PE activity has been focused on a few hotspots in the Middle East and North Africa and has

Private equity – Where to scare up the cash

Reading Time: 3 minutes In times of crisis come times of great opportunity, or so we are told. The proverb does seem to bear some truth, however, when applied to the regional private equity (PE) market. Perhaps for too long, PE activity has been focused on a few hotspots in the Middle East and North Africa and has neglected

Syria – Freeing the market’s bonds

Reading Time: 6 minutes On March 10, Syrian Finance Minister Mohamed Hussein rang the bell to launch trading at the long-awaited opening of the Damascus Securities Exchange (DSE). Despite its humble size, the DSE is yet another sign that Syria means business about the privatization and gradual liberalization of its state-controlled economy. Ever since President Bashar al-Assad came to

Shaking up the system

Reading Time: 3 minutes Until recently, thelabor laws of the United Arab Emirates seemed as stationary as the tectonicplates under the Arabian Gulf. Those plates seldom shift, but when they do the result is earth shattering. The new laborregulations in the UAE may not be as dramatic, but they do have the potentialto shake up the country’s antiquated employment

Expat largesse

Reading Time: 5 minutes   During the first quarter of 2009, Lebanon braced itself for a steep fall in remittances. The logic held that the global financial crisis would severely affect remittance inflows from outside the country,  as Lebanese working abroad saw their own budgets tighten. The Lebanese government even prepared its 2009 budget proposal, which was never ratified,

Peripheral vision

Reading Time: 3 minutes There is no question that healthcare is booming despite the financial crisis — not only in the Middle East and other emerging markets, but also in many parts of the developed world.   Healthcare services throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council countries were worth $18 billion in 2008, a figure expected to grow to between $47

Opening the lid

Reading Time: 3 minutes The road to transparency is seldom traveled by Gulf financial institutions, but the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s (ADIA) publication last month of its first financial disclosure since its inception in 1976, entitled the ADIA Review, is perhaps the beginning of a new journey. ADIA is a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) which we estimate to manage

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