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Kuwait’s telcos launch new mobile technologies (Oxford Business Group - 31/01/2014)

The roll-out of fourth-generation long-term evolution (4G LTE) networks across Kuwait is expected to offer a boost to the mobile market. While the average revenue per user (ARPU) remains among the highest in the region, it has nonetheless been falling in

Abu Dhabi’s real estate market on the rise (Oxford Business Group - 28/01/2014)

Recent regulatory changes are giving an added boost to Abu Dhabi’s real estate market, which appears on track to a recovery. While there has been some speculation that the new rules could help fuel a property bubble, these concerns are likely unfounded

2013: Interesting year for Islamic indexes (Rushdi Siddiqui - The Malaysian Reserve - 28/01/2014)

Investors typically chase yesterday’s performance! In Muslim majority countries, there are more bank depositors than equity investors, and even in non-Muslim countries where an established Muslim minority reside, Islamic equity funds have not taken off.

Kuwait Year in Review 2013 (Oxford Business Group - 27/01/2014)

Strong consumer spending helped ensure economic growth in Kuwait this past year, although a slowdown in the energy sector meant the rise in GDP was modest. The outlook for the oil industry in 2014 is unclear, but there is an expectation that private

Saudi banks shielded from turbulence (Tamer El Zayat - Arab News - 25/01/2014)

I am always amazed at how decision makers in the Arab world, in most cases knowingly, take lightly the process of environmentally scanning their economy/business in order to analyze the factors at play and structural limitations, if any. For some,

Saudi Banks show increasing trends for 2013 (Mushtaq Ahmed - Zughaibi & Kabbani Financial Consultants - 23/01/2014)

Saudi Arabia with “Positive” rating is the largest economy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).The strong fundamental performance of Saudi Banksappears to be continuing during 2013. Unaudited 2013 results show increasing trends of major factors like

Birth of new sovereign sukuk sources to broaden market (Bernardo Vizcaino - Reuters - 23/01/2014)

The birth of three new sources of sovereign sukuk - Britain, Luxembourg and Hong Kong - will broaden the market in Islamic bonds, helping in a small way to ease a shortage of top-rated paper that hurts the ability of banks to manage their funds.

Analysis: Corporate cash may not all flow back with recovery (Mike Dolan - Reuters - 22/01/2014)

When the corporate cash dam bursts, everything will be ok, right? Well, maybe. Investors betting that the past year of more than 20 percent gains in western stock markets can be echoed, or at least sustained, through 2014 have long assumed that a

Qatar Year in Review 2013 (Oxford Business Group - 16/01/2014)

Growth outpaced expectations in Qatar this past year, while 2014 is widely expected to see an uptick in economic activity, as the non-energy sector further expands on the back of high levels of infrastructure spending and consumer demand. Perhaps the

Calls to increase Oman’s tax base ( - 13/01/2014)

The government in Oman has been urged to cast its taxation net wider to fund the state’s economic and social welfare programmes, with the need for additional revenue flows likely to become more pressing if global oil prices ease further as some analysts

Reconsidering oil market shift (Alsir Sidahmed - Arab News - 12/01/2014)

The much publicized argument that the oil center of gravity is moving from the Middle East to the Western hemisphere is being considered of late. For the past few years, a number of reports and studies highlighted the potential impact of the sand oil in

Dubai Year in Review 2013 (Oxford Business Group - 08/01/2014)

Many of the concerns that had been weighing on Dubai’s economy in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis look to have been laid to rest this past year, with the emirate consolidating its place as a regional centre for tourism, transport, trade

Abu Dhabi Year in Review 2013 (Oxford Business Group - 08/01/2014)

The past year was a good one for Abu Dhabi, both in terms of economic performance and its progress towards a more diversified economy – the principle goal of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, formulated some five years ago. On the macroeconomic level,

Bahrain Year in Review 2013 (Oxford Business Group - 06/01/2014)

Focus in 2013 remained on maintaining growth and the continuing process of further diversification of the economy – something Bahrain has a head-start on over many of its neighbours. However, ongoing security concerns have overshadowed performance in

‘Saudi Arabia: Breaking-Even’ (Tamer El Zayat - Arab News - 01/01/2014)

Fiscal consolidation and sustainability had preoccupied most policy makers and rating agencies during the last five years, with governments mired in loads of debt. The dilemma of filling the vacuum left over by a retrenching private sector made balancing

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