Latest articles from Middle East

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.

Gulf banks enjoy bonanza

August 1, 2005

Gulf banks have continued to increase profits, reporting record profit growth in excess of 50% for the first half of 2005.

Resilient market proves its mettle

July 4, 2005

The Lebanese economy has survived yet another political crisis, write Jon Marks and James Gavin.

Central bank takes steps to control inflation

July 4, 2005

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority is trying to curb the surge in money supply in the economy but will prices be kept under control? Dr Nahed Taher reports.

Banks spread their wings

June 6, 2005

As the Gulf opens up and Islamic banking increases in popularity, Kuwait’s major banks are looking at opportunities beyond the country’s borders.

A transformed terrain for banks

June 6, 2005

The landscape of Kuwait’s banking sector is shifting, providing its participants with new opportunities. Stephen Timewell reports from Kuwait City on the banks’ strategies for growth and profit.
The highly profitable and comfortable world of Kuwaiti banking is now entering a period of radical transition as both market and regulatory forces begin to significantly reshape the industry.
The massive hike in oil revenues, the licensing of not only international and regional banks but also new Islamic banks, as well as Iraq’s huge potential, provide the banking sector with huge opportunities – along with stiff competitive challenges – in a new and very different operating environment.

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