Economics Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa
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Jul 22, 2014

Saudi Arabia to open $530 billion bourse to foreigners in early 2015

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia plans to open its stock market, the Arab world’s biggest, to direct investment by foreign financial institutions in the first half of next year, the market regulator said on Tuesday.

The opening of the Saudi market, capitalised at about $530 billion, is one of the most keenly awaited economic reforms in the world’s biggest oil exporter. The bourse would be one of the world’s last major exchanges to begin welcoming foreign money.

Jul 15, 2014

Regulators take aim at murky UAE markets after Arabtec debacle

ABU DHABI/DUBAI, July 15 (Reuters) – Fifty billion dollars
may be enough to trigger major changes to regulation of the Arab
world’s second biggest stock market.

That sum is the value wiped off the Dubai and Abu Dhabi
stock exchanges since May by the bursting of a bubble that was
inflated by wild speculation among individual investors.

Jun 25, 2014

Iran hopes for end of sanctions boom but investors still wary

DUBAI (Reuters) – With the prospect of a diplomatic breakthrough next month bringing an end to Iran’s international isolation, officials in Tehran are preparing to roll out the red carpet to foreign firms. But a tough legal environment and tricky domestic market mean the hoped-for billions in investment may not come soon.

Only a few more weeks remain before the July 20 deadline to conclude talks between Iran and Western powers aimed at ending sanctions in return for limits on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Jun 24, 2014

Islamic trade finance fuels rising Gulf reinsurance demand -Euler Hermes

DUBAI, June 24 (Reuters) – The spread of Islamic trade
finance is boosting demand for sharia-compliant reinsurance in
the Gulf, trade credit insurer Euler Hermes says, predicting the
sector could eventually account for over a third of its business
in the region.

Islamic finance, which bans interest payments, is used for
only a tiny fraction – perhaps less than 1 percent – of the
foreign trade of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which
totalled roughly $1.5 trillion last year.

Jun 16, 2014

Gulf’s billions insulate economies, markets from Iraq turmoil

DUBAI, June 16 (Reuters) – For years, the rich oil states of
the Gulf have struggled to insulate themselves from political
turbulence in the rest of their volatile region. Markets’
reaction to the insurgency in Iraq suggest they may finally have
succeeded.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait face the potential disintegration of
a country on their borders. At the very least, the turmoil in
Iraq looks set to widen the Sunni-Shi’ite divide which has
poisoned politics across the region.

Jun 11, 2014

Nomura Asset Management opens Dubai office as flows to Asia rise

DUBAI, June 11 (Reuters) – Nomura Asset Management, one of
Asia’s biggest asset managers, said it had opened its first
Middle Eastern office in Dubai after its business in the region
more than doubled in the past five years.

Many foreign fund managers service clients in the six-nation
Gulf Cooperation Council from bases in Western financial centres
such as London. Nomura Asset Management said it had had GCC
clients for over 25 years and was now setting up a five-person
office to provide a local presence.

Jun 11, 2014

Nomura Asset Management opens Dubai office as flows to Asia rise

DUBAI, June 11 (Reuters) – Nomura Asset Management, one of
Asia’s biggest asset managers, said it had opened its first
Middle Eastern office in Dubai after its business in the region
more than doubled in the past five years.

Many foreign fund managers service clients in the six-nation
Gulf Cooperation Council from bases in Western financial centres
such as London. Nomura Asset Management said it had had GCC
clients for over 25 years and was now setting up a five-person
office to provide a local presence.

Jun 4, 2014

Regulators and reforms to revive Gulf IPOs, top lawyer says

DUBAI (Reuters) – Initial public offers of equity in Gulf Arab countries are set to boom, helped by lighter regulation and legal reforms as governments seek to diversify their oil-dependent economies, according to one of the region’s top IPO lawyers.

An exemption from Dubai IPO rules granted by regulators to real estate giant Emaar Properties, which will permit an offer worth up to $2.45 billion, is a sign of the times, said Husam Hourani, managing partner at Al Tamimi & Company.

Jun 4, 2014

Egypt’s currency black market under threat as confidence rises

CAIRO/DUBAI, June 4 (Reuters) – Egypt’s currency black
market is under threat from two directions, as aid from wealthy
Gulf states promises to ease a dollar shortage and an
increasingly confident central bank engineers a gradual
depreciation of the Egyptian pound.

Since the 2011 revolution ushered in three years of
political and economic turmoil, a gap has opened up between the
pound’s official market rate and the weaker rate at which it
trades in illicit money changing shops and back alleys.

Jun 2, 2014

Qatar image would suffer more than economy if World Cup lost

DUBAI, June 2 (Reuters) – Qatar’s sizzling growth would slow
if it lost the right to host the 2022 World Cup soccer
tournament, but the tiny country is so rich that the impact on
its economy and financial markets would be much smaller than the
blow to its reputation.

The Qatari stock market sank 1.1 percent on Monday,
underperforming the region, after a British newspaper published
what it said was evidence of corruption in Qatar’s successful
bid to host the World Cup. Qatar and tournament organisers
denied the allegations.

    • About Andrew

      "Based in London, I manage economics and emerging markets coverage in the EMEA region and reporting on emerging markets in the area. Before moving to EMEA in early 2009 I spent almost 20 years in Asia as a journalist, based in Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai."
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