Latest articles from Middle East

Focus on governance and consolidation

November 7, 2005

As Jordanian banks report an upturn, more attention is being paid to consolidation, governance and product range in efforts to strengthen the sector, writes Selwa Calderbank, with Jon Marks.

Mood of confidence permeates the market

November 7, 2005

Foreign banks are arriving in Kuwait at last, just as the Bank of Kuwait and Middle East takeover signals the domestic market’s renewed attraction, writes Paul Melly.
On October 2, HSBC Middle East became the second foreign bank to open its doors in Kuwait under the pilot liberalisation programme developed by the authorities in the past year.

Political events mark transitory year

November 7, 2005

Highly capitalised and with abundant liquidity, Lebanon’s top-tier banks remain optimistic about their prospects despite difficult political circumstances, writes James Gavin with Jon Mark.

Saudi’s new bond market beckons

November 7, 2005

The pace of Saudi capital market reform is quickening, with the establishment of a secondary market in government bonds, write James Gavin and Jon Marks.

A broader remit for microfinance

November 7, 2005

The Middle East is enjoying an investment boom but risks leaving the poor further behind. Microfinance can help to improve their prospects but it will take more than loans alone. Rula Dababneh explains.

Arab banks set to smash profits record again

November 7, 2005

Runaway profits at Arab financial institutions show no signs of slowing down, as this year’s Top 100 proves.

MAIN STORY: Hapoalim joins rush into Turkey with stake in C Bank

October 3, 2005

Israel’s biggest financial institution, Bank Hapoalim, announced on September 13 that it had signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire a 50% share in Turkey’s C Kredi ve Kalkinma Bankasi (C Bank) for $113m, with the aim of breaking into the lucrative Turkish mortgage and project finance markets.

Ambitious project on course to be a winner

October 3, 2005

Will the new Dubai International Financial Exchange fulfil the vision of its creators to become hub for the region? Omar bin Sulaiman, director general of the Dubai International Financial Centre, talks to Stephen Timewell.
The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), which was due to open on September 26, is an ambitious attempt to become the leading exchange between west Europe and east Asia.

Bridging the Gulf

October 3, 2005

Adel El-Labban, CEO of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank, talks to Stephen Timewell about progress on his plans for a pan-Gulf retail network.
Most banks in the six states of the increasingly rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have tended to focus on their domestic markets and as a result remained relatively small compared with the region’s enormous wealth.
But now a few are breaking through traditional barriers, creating regional networks and realising some of the Gulf’s potential.
Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank (AUB) has been a pioneer of mergers and acquisitions in the Gulf and this remains central to the bank’s strategy.

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