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US predicts fairly modest increase in Iran oil output (Anthony McAuley - The National - 24/01/2016)

The US government’s Energy Information Agency expects Iran to ramp up oil output at a fairly modest pace, adding its voice to those sceptical of Tehran’s claims it can increase production rapidly in coming months. There have been a wide range of

Bridging the skills gap in Islamic finance (Tirad Al-Mahmoud - Gulf News - 24/01/2016)

In an article published by Gulf News last year, the Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, highlighted the skills gap as a key challenge for Islamic banks in the UAE and elsewhere. There have been many surveys done by academic and

Is a wave of privatisation about to sweep the GCC? (Mohammed Salih Al Hashemi - The National - 24/01/2016)

Investors have been anticipating the privatisation of GCC state-owned assets, which would open up billions of dollars to foreign investment, as speculation rises that some regional governments are looking to counter the effect of the falling oil price by

Dubai Year in Review 2015 (Oxford Business Group - 22/01/2016)

The year was led by solid performance in established sectors of the economy, including financial services, transport, manufacturing and construction, which helped Dubai weather the knock-on effects of lower oil prices throughout 2015. The emirate is

Middle East slowdown 'will cut oil demand growth' (John Kemp - Reuters - 21/01/2016)

The Middle East was the fastest growing region for oil consumption except China over the last decade as young populations and booming economies simulated a surge in fuel demand. The Middle East is not only one of the world's most important producers and

Fiscal reforms key to defending Saudi’s peg (Babu Das Augustine - Gulf News - 17/01/2016)

Fiscal policy is an important driver of external imbalances in the GCC. Analysts say the region has historically defended the currency pegs even in the face of twin deficits through multi-year fiscal consolidation drive and this time too governments are

How Islamic finance plugs SME fund gap (Hisham Wyne - Business Pulse - 17/01/2016)

SMEs are invaluable to economic growth in the GCC. In the UAE, 2013 Ministry of Economy figures indicated that they contributed between 40-46% of nominal GDP in Dubai. For the entire UAE, the contribution rose to over 60% of GDP. Despite prominence in

Oil is making the world toil, says Fed; here is why (Anindya Banerjee - Financial Express - 17/01/2016)

The most powerful central bank in the world finally admitted to the fact that commodity price bust is not good for the US economy, aka, global economy. “The Fed got it wrong when it predicted a drop in oil prices would be a big boon for the economy. It

Crude can be cruel – Redux of 1985-86 ? (Dr Suresh Ramanathan - The Star - 16/01/2016)

BEFORE we could even put a finger on where crude oil prices eventually head, it’s worth re-looking some of the crisis period for oil prices. There were three large oil price declines before the current one, in 1985–86, in 1990–91 during the first Gulf

As Saudi Arabia recovers from crude’s crash, is Aramco really for sale (Rashid Husain Syed - 12/01/2016)

Growing budgetary deficits, plummeting oil prices – Saudi Arabia’s single-product economy, almost 90-per-cent dependent on oil sales for its revenues, is facing major headwinds. The kingdom needed to do something drastic. Last week, Riyadh moved. The

Oil price collapse is not the end (Mohammad Al Asoomi - Gulf News - 06/01/2016)

This is not the first time oil prices have collapsed ... and reoccur once in 10 years. The global economy took a nosedive in 1986 when oil plummeted to as low as $7 (Dh25.71) a barrel and then recovered after 1990, especially after Iraq’s invasion of

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