Latest articles from Middle East

Banks upbeat on Iran’s surprise election result

August 1, 2005

Initial reticence about the election of Iran’s new hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, has turned to optimism in the financial sector. Gareth Smyth and Najmeh Bozorgmehr report from Tehran.

Emirates stand tall

August 1, 2005

The death of the UAE’s president may have been a blow to its citizens but a smooth transition of power reflects the stability that has made the region a top investment destination. Will McSheehy reports.

Capital markets make an impact

August 1, 2005

Besides record oil revenues, Saudi Arabia has made significant developments in its capital markets, especially in its equity markets. By Timothy S Gray.

Qatar on the rise

August 1, 2005

Qatar is raising its profile in the Gulf with another hydrocarbon-fuelled growth spurt. By Will McSheehy.

Oman attracts regional interest

August 1, 2005

Consolidation has been the watchword for Omani banks in recent years. With the entry of a new Qatari player, consolidation is helping to internationalise the Muscat financial market, writes Jon Marks, with James Gavin and Eleanor Gillespie.

Broader horizons

August 1, 2005

A wind of change is quietly blowing through key sectors of the Kuwaiti economy which is slowly opening up to foreign businesses, writes Jon Marks, with Kevin Godier and James Gavin.

Projects flow

August 1, 2005

Bahrain’s economy has benefited from diversification, and Manama’s status as the Gulf’s premier financial hub is not under imminent threat, write James Gavin and Kevin Godier.
Bahrain’s relative lack of hydrocarbon resources has helped it to become one of the region’s most diversified economies, stimulating a steady flow of project finance and other corporate activities in a range of sectors.

The voice of NBK

August 1, 2005

Ibrahim Dabdoub, chief executive of National Bank of Kuwait discusses the biggest challenges ahead for the gulf banking sector:
Globalisation, liberalisation and technology pose the biggest challenges for Gulf banks, which will have to compete with large, financially strong, global banks with a broad product offering, high-quality personnel and a greater capacity to absorb risk. International players are also technologically sophisticated and enjoy efficiencies of scale.

Major progress

August 1, 2005

The Gulf Cooperation Council states and their banks may be small but they are enjoying huge growth with great prospects. Stephen Timewell reports.

First Gulf Bank

August 1, 2005

Five years ago, Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank (FGB) was a parochial non-entity with Dh2.4bn ($653m) of assets and a Dh50m profit. Today, the bank’s management is celebrating the results of a turnaround programme that has propelled the institution far up the global rankings.

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