Renewable energy is expected to play a significant role in the Middle East and north Africa's future energy mix, and the region's lenders are now paying attention to the attractive opportunities presented by this energy evolution.
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Adnan Ahmed Yousif, the president and chief executive of Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group, believes that the scope for international expansion for Islamic finance is huge, and that improved oversight combined with scholarly jurisprudence is the key to a more harmonious global structure in the market.
With its guaranteed long-term liquefied natural gas revenues and ever-expanding array of foreign assets, Qatar boasts a profile that has set it apart from its Middle Eastern oil-exporting peers – even if it has found it necessary to curb some of its prodigious spending growth in the midst of weaker global oil prices seen in the past year.
A snapshot of Qatar’s banks shows a sector in good health, with sound provision levels and growth in public sector credit. But with real estate prices increasing rapidly, concerns remain over the potential for a bubble emerging in the market.
The civil war in bordering Syria and a stagnant political scene have caused Lebanon's economy to grow at a slow pace in recent years. While factors such as the low oil price give some cause for optimism, the prevailing feeling of uncertainty in the country means few see it realising its full potential any time soon.
The countries of north Africa have been proving attractive for lenders from the Gulf region for decades, but in recent years this activity has picked up, with Egypt a particularly popular destination. Tom Stevenson looks at the reasons why Gulf banks are heading west.
The non-oil private sector is playing an ever-expanding role in the growth of Saudi Arabia's economy. However, will it be able to help tackle the country's high unemployment ratio and low home ownership rates? James King reports.
The impact of low oil prices on Saudi Arabia's banks in 2014 was negligible, as they posted stellar figures. And the sector looks to be in a good position to continue to thrive, says James King, a testimony to its prudent management.
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