Latest articles from Middle East

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.

Malaysian model

October 3, 2005

Malaysia is providing the world with a model for Islamic finance that is worth emulating. So why has it not become a significant global player? Farhan Bokhari finds out what is holding it back.

Big banks are branching out

October 3, 2005

As demand for Islamic banking grows and investors flush with liquidity seek to invest in Pakistan, big mainstream banks are strengthening their sharia-compliant offerings and opening dedicated branches.Farhan Bokharireports from Islamabad.
Syed Ali Raza, president of the National Bank of Pakistan, is reminded of his bank’s increasing involvement in Islamic banking as he drives in to his office premises every morning.

Wanted: more sharia bankers

October 3, 2005

As Islamic banks expand and become more mainstream, the demand for Islamic scholars with banking knowledge is skyrocketing, reports Will McSheehy in Dubai.

New industry’s credibility grows

October 3, 2005

The Islamic banking and finance industry is growing fast and, despite the relatively small players, big deals are being done, not least in project finance.Will McSheehy reports from Dubai.

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