Latest articles from Middle East

Abdul Aziz al Ghurair teaser

UAE Banks Federation chairman sees the positive impact of AI

February 1, 2018

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, talks to James King about the importance of sharing information to combat cybercrime and the power of artificial intelligence. 

GET-Emirates NBD teaser

Can the UAE meet its SME funding challenge?

February 1, 2018

SMEs seeking bank financing have traditionally had a tough task on their hands in the UAE. However, small steps are being taken to resolve this issue, and optimism is widespread that the situation will improve in line with the country's Vision 2021 national agenda. James King reports.

Adnoc teaser

UAE banks take a digital lead

February 1, 2018

While the short-term future of the UAE's banks looks promising thanks to a growing national economy and rising oil prices, it is the sector's long-term prospects – due largely to its early embracing of AI and collaboration with fintechs – that are giving the greatest cause for optimism. James King reports.

Abu Dhabi infrastructure teaser

International banks lead charge to fill GCC project finance gap

January 2, 2018

While Gulf Co-operation Council countries have announced a slew of infrastructure programmes of late, the region is suffering a reported $270bn project finance gap. This is opening the way for international and local banks to find innovative new mechanisms, as James King reports.

Joseph Abraham teaser

Commercial Bank of Qatar weathers GCC spat and oil price storms

November 1, 2017

Joseph Abraham joined Qatar’s Commercial Bank as group CEO in 2016, after eight years as CEO of ANZ Indonesia, arriving at a time of low oil prices and regional tension. He tells Kit Gillet about efforts to refocus the bank, as well as finding opportunities in adversity.

Bank Hapoalim teaser

Reform pushes Israel’s credit card sector into the unknown

October 2, 2017

Israel’s banks are under scrutiny, with the government moving to break up the current credit card oligopoly. But opinion is divided on whether these reforms will boost competition more generally or are just an experiment. Pinchas Landau reports.

Dubai Islamic Bank teaser

UAE banks look to international expansion

October 2, 2017

Having survived a regional liquidity squeeze, the United Arab Emirates’ larger banks are eyeing opportunities further afield. Meanwhile, an overbanked market means consolidation is likely for the rest of the sector. James King reports.

Al Rajhi Bank teaser

Al Rajhi the exception as Saudi banks hit doldrums

October 2, 2017

Only Al Rajhi Bank has reported a rise in profits among Saudi’s banks. Now the country's government is hoping its National Transformation Plan will bring the reforms necessary to inject new life into a stagnating economy. James King reports.

Emirates NBD teaser

Can Gulf banks build on their digital momentum?

September 1, 2017

Banks in the Gulf region have scored some notable successes in the digital field, such as Liv, a UAE bank run by and for millennials. However, the longer-term threat from fintechs still looms large, writes James King.

Bahrain teaser

Islamic finance and the quest for common standards

August 1, 2017

While enjoying massive success, Islamic finance has developed in a piecemeal fashion, with many warning that global standardisation is needed if it is to avoid fragmentation and successfully push into frontier markets. James King reports.

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