Latest articles from Melissa Hancock


Islamic finance's growth story is only just beginning

November 1, 2011

The Islamic finance industry has undergone rapid growth in recent years, but in representing just 1.5% of global banking assets, it remains a hugely underpenetrated market across many asset classes and geographies. This has led the heavyweight global Islamic players to redefine their strategies to capitalise on these opportunities.


Middle East IFC crown still up for grabs

October 3, 2011

Competition to be the Middle East’s leading international financial centre is rife. However, recent domestic problems in Dubai and Manama have weakened their respective positions, and have created an opening for Qatari capital Doha to emerge as a stronger challenger. 


Ranking shows Arab banks remain in good health

October 3, 2011

With the exception of two institutions, Arab banks have been successful in growing both their assets and profits during 2010. They have also become more prudent in building up their financial strength, reflected in the 8.7% increase in the dollar value of Tier 1 capital.    

Dubai world real estate

Dubai's rehabilitation gathers pace

October 3, 2011

Dubai’s banking sector has suffered a series of setbacks in the past few years. But with a series of new bond issuance from state-owned companies being met with high demand, and banks rolling out new mortgage products, 2011 has seen an upturn in the fortunes of the emirate.

Farhat Bengdara

Libya seeks outside help to modernise banking sector

October 3, 2011

Libya's former central bank governor tells how the country's uprising will lead to many opportunities for investors in the oil, tourism, mining and banking sectors, as long as there is a return to stability.

Qatar world cup

Should Qatar consolidate while the going's good?

October 3, 2011

Qatar is one of the world's richest countries, and its banks are enjoying profitable returns across the board. However, there are concerns that the tiny country's banking sector is overcrowded and has too many regulators, leading for calls for consolidation in both areas.

cp/53/GET_Kuwait Stock Exchange.jpg

Kuwait's banks struggle to deploy capital

October 3, 2011

Awash with liquidity, Kuwait's banks are struggling to find opportunities to deploy their capital. Implementation of the country's much-heralded $113bn Economic Development Plan is making slow progress amid parliamentary disputes, and banks remain wary of the beleaguered investment and real estate markets.

Manama's financial district

Rebuilding Bahrain's reputation

September 1, 2011

In light of its ongoing political turmoil, many industry players have been quick to sound the death knell for Bahrain's status as the Middle East's financial hub but the country still holds many competitive advantages over its rivals.

Amman Stock Exchange

Can Jordan's banks rise to the challenge?

September 1, 2011

A sharply declining growth in GDP, political and social unrest, credit rating downgrades, rising NPL ratios... To say Jordan's banks have faced a testing couple of years would be an understatement. However, there are some causes for optimism.

Gulf Islamic finance industry

Gulf players continue to shape Islamic finance's future

August 1, 2011

The Gulf's Islamic finance industry is on an upward growth trajectory as the sukuk market rebounds and new lines of business emerge. But there are growing calls for greater regulatory oversight to ensure the industry remains true to its values and improves transparency going forward.

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