Economics Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa
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Oct 21, 2014

Kuwait’s Agility sees revenue rebound on emerging markets

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Revenue at Kuwait-listed logistics company Agility (AGLT.KW: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is expected to resume growing next year as emerging markets business expands and the company develops new sectors, chief executive Tarek Sultan said.

With more than 20,000 employees and over 500 offices in more than 100 countries, Agility is one of Kuwait’s corporate success stories and a play on the Gulf’s rapidly expanding trade links with the rest of the world, especially emerging markets in Asia and Africa.

Oct 16, 2014

Sohar port challenges Gulf rivals as Oman pushes beyond oil

DUBAI (Reuters) – An advertisement by the highway outside Dubai’s massive Jebel Ali Port tells firms they don’t need to ship goods through the Strait of Hormuz, the traditional gateway to the Gulf. Instead they can have goods delivered to a port in Oman, outside the Gulf, and bring them into the region by road.

“Why go through the Strait when you can go straight to the Gulf,” the billboard reads, in a challenge to Jebel Ali, which has become one of the biggest ports in the world by handling many of the region’s imports via Hormuz.

Oct 15, 2014

Iran nuclear deal would open last big frontier stock market

DUBAI (Reuters) – Years of economic sanctions and isolation have ravaged Iran’s economy but created one of the last unexploited opportunities for international portfolio investors, who could start moving their money in this year if geopolitics permit.

The Tehran Stock Exchange is “the last, large untapped emerging market in┬áthe world”, said Ramin Rabii, managing director of Turquoise Partners, a Tehran-based investment firm with around $200 million of assets under management.

Sep 29, 2014

Dubai flexes legal muscles as financial court system grows

DUBAI (Reuters) – A landmark ruling by the court system in Dubai’s financial free zone suggests the emirate is starting to influence the way international business disputes are resolved in the Middle East, partly taking over that role from London and New York.

Last month a court in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) found Switzerland’s Bank Sarasin had mis-sold $200 million of investment products to Kuwait’s prominent Khorafi family, ordering it to pay compensation.

Sep 25, 2014

Marka jumps 77 pct in first Dubai Financial Market flotation since 2009

DUBAI, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Shares in Dubai retailing and
restaurants group Marka jumped 77 percent upon
listing on Thursday in the first flotation on the emirate’s main
stock market since 2009.

Marka shares opened at 1.77 dirhams on the Dubai Financial
Market (DFM), up from their initial public offer (IPO) price of
1.00 dirham. The firm raised 275 million dirhams ($75 million),
55 percent of its capital, in April via an offer that was 36
times subscribed.

Sep 17, 2014

Saudi rises on economic reform plans; better global mood boosts region

DUBAI, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s stock market led
the region higher on Wednesday because of optimism over the
government’s economic reform efforts, while other markets were
buoyed by a more positive global mood.

The main Saudi index gained 0.8 percent to 11,081
points, with major mining company Ma’aden rising 3.1

Sep 16, 2014

New UAE rules aim to develop local currency bond, sukuk markets

DUBAI, Sept 16 (Reuters) – New rules issued by the United
Arab Emirates’ securities market regulator aim to develop local
currency bond and sukuk markets in the Arab world’s second
biggest economy.

In meetings with potential issuers and financial firms in
Abu Dhabi and Dubai this week, the Securities and Commodities
Authority (SCA) outlined rules designed to make it faster and
cheaper for companies to issue conventional and Islamic bonds,
and easier for investors to trade them.

Aug 21, 2014

Saudis propose 10 pct foreign ownership cap for bourse

DUBAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s stock market
regulator proposed rules on Thursday for opening the $580
billion market to direct investment by foreign institutions,
including a 10 percent cap on foreign ownership of the market’s

Among other draft rules, a single foreign investor could own
no more than 5 percent of any listed firm, while all foreign
institutions combined could own no more than 20 percent. The
Capital Market Authority published the draft on its website.

Aug 19, 2014

Dubai creates new fund class to lure asset managers

DUBAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Dubai is changing its financial
rules in an effort to attract more asset managers – particularly
those serving the richest and most risk-tolerant investors, such
as hedge funds and private equity funds – to base themselves in
the emirate.

The rules create a new class of funds that can be domiciled
in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), facing less
stringent regulation and thus lower costs than existing funds.

Aug 14, 2014

As Saudi bourse opens, foreigners face clash of investment cultures

RIYADH/DUBAI, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Seventy-year-old Saudi
Arabian stock speculator Mohamed al-Otaibi says he lost hundreds
of thousands of dollars in the crash of 2006, but he’s back
trading again as the Arab world’s biggest bourse prepares to
open to direct foreign investment.

The activities of Otaibi and many thousands like him mean
there will be a clash of investment cultures when international
institutions enter the $580 billion Saudi market early next
year, under a plan announced by the regulator last month.

    • 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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