Latest articles from Middle East

An enviable position

Saudi's banks enjoy an enviable position

May 1, 2013

Government spending has kept the Saudi Arabian economy buoyant over the past few years, allowing the country's banks to maintain a healthy profit level in 2012. And their prosperity is showing no signs of waning, with an ambitious home ownership target spurring growth in the mortgage market and momentum building in the small and medium-sized enterprise space.

Saudi Arabia's investment banking industry picks up the pace

May 1, 2013

Saudi Arabia's investment banking industry is gaining momentum, thanks in large part to a region-wide uptick in bond issuance, in mergers and acquisitions and growing demand for project finance. But the evolution of this sector is far from over, as the country's bankers turn their minds to deepening the markets and encouraging the liberalisation of the stock exchange.

Blom Bank

Lebanese banks look further afield for growth

May 1, 2013

With Lebanon's economy feeling the strains of political infighting and the two-year civil war in neighbouring Syria, its banks have been looking overseas in search of growth, establishing footholds in countries such as Turkey and Iraq, as well as seeking to consolidate their presence in Egypt and the Gulf.

Mohammad Al-Hashel

Kuwait central bank governor takes prudent approach

April 2, 2013

Mohammad Al-Hashel is settling into his role as Kuwait’s central bank governor, taking over responsibility for a banking sector that is well capitalised and highly liquid. 

The Kuwait Towers symbolise modern Kuwait and its forward-looking approach  to the rest of the world

Kuwaiti banks look to international markets for growth

April 2, 2013

Kuwait’s banks are looking to external markets as they pursue growth, a strategy that has the potential to strengthen Kuwait’s economic relationships with the countries in which it operates.  

Vote of confidence: Kuwait’s December 2012 election resulted  in a parliament that was largely in favour of the country’s economic development plan

New government incites new-found optimism in Kuwait

April 2, 2013

In the past year, political turbulence has dented Kuwait's otherwise healthy economy, with political infighting effectively blocking the government's $130bn economic development plan (EDP). But a new government, elected in December 2012, looks set to put an end to the country's political problems and kick-start the EDP.

Standing firm: Kuwait’s banking sector saw record growth in 2012

Kuwait's banking industry goes from strength to strength

April 2, 2013

Largely unaffected by the political and economic turbulence outside the country, Kuwait's banks recorded strong growth in 2012, and are looking to improve on this in 2013, by seeking growth abroad and taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the government's $130bn national development plan.

View from Iran

View from Iran: how the country's economy came to crisis

March 1, 2013

An Iranian economist reports from the country, telling how the targeted US and UN sanctions have delivered a huge blow to the country's economy, an economy that was already overly dependent upon oil revenues and reeling from years of mismanagement.

Islamic finance in 2013

Islamic finance in 2013: beyond the growth

March 1, 2013

Year upon year, the Islamic finance industry posts stellar growth figures. However, as large Western lenders withdraw from the sector, is Islamic finance in as healthy a shape as the figures suggest? The Banker asks a number of experts in the field what the future holds for sharia-compliant banking.

Banks to watch in 2013, Bank Nizwa

February 1, 2013

The Banker has identified 13 banks to keep an eye on in the coming year based on a variety of factors. Established in 2013, following a directive authorising Islamic institutions in Oman, Bank Nizwa is the country's first standalone Islamic bank and one to watch in 2013.

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