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analysis

Emirates NBD was the first bank merger to occur, in 2007

UAE needs bigger but fewer banks, says expert

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has too many banks and the sector needs to see more consolidation, especially as profits are squeezed and costs continue to rise, an industry expert told AGBI today. “I think it would be helpful to have fewer banks [in the UAE]. I have been an advocate of that,” Asad Ahmed, […]

  • Analysis

Stars and strife: rebuilding UAE-US relations

The passing of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa has prompted an outpouring of condolences and support from around the globe, with heads of state being hurriedly dispatched to Abu Dhabi.  Particularly notable among these was the high-profile delegation sent by the US; headed by Vice-President Kamala Harris, it included nearly all of the administration’s top national […]

BR Shetty, founder of NMC Healthcare, denies wrongdoing and sues colleagues as the collapse of his company

NMC scandal is watershed moment for UAE businesses

Revelations about the scale of hidden debts spark debate in the UAE about the need for more rigorous bank loan checks and company auditing The ongoing legal battles surrounding the NMC Healthcare, the largest private healthcare provider in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been a big learning curve for how businesses manage their financial […]

Sitting, Person, Human

Iran nuclear deal remains in the balance

There is little doubt a solution would bring rapid economic gains for Tehran while some other Gulf countries would also benefit from an easing of trade restrictions, but political calculations could yet scupper a deal The diplomatic traffic through Tehran has continued at a steady pace in recent weeks, as intermediaries doggedly try to revive […]

Abu Dhabi’s $2bn green energy splash will deepen India ties

Abu Dhabi-based International Holding Company PJSC’s (IHC) AED 7.3 billion ($2 billion) investment in Indian multinational conglomerate Adani Group takes the UAE-India partnership to “a different level” with more deals on the horizon, market observers said.  IHC provided capital to Adani Green Energy, Adani Transmission, and Adani Enterprises, which are all listed on the Bombay […]

Indonesia’s cooking oil crisis explained

An export ban has infuriated farmers, amid soaring prices and claims that a ‘palm oil mafia’ is operating in the country Indonesia, the world’s biggest exporter of palm oil, halted shipments on April 28 in a bid to flood the domestic market with supplies and control the soaring price of cooking oil. The tough policy […]

Oman: the next hydrogen energy superpower

With lengthy daytime sun, strong overnight winds and an accessible coastline, H2 investors and developers have long admired Oman, dubbed a “future renewable superpower,” by green energy titans. The government has noticed their admiration, and is looking to hydrogen to help power the oil-rich country’s energy grid and recharge its fossil fuel-reliant economy.  Since announcing […]

Qatar, the reigning champions, would have the infrastructure to host the Asian Cup thanks to this year's World Cup

Qatar may tackle Asian Cup as replacement host for China

The 2023 Asian Cup could be shifting west to the Gulf, where new infrastructure has made the region a magnet for international tournaments, after China withdrew as host. China had planned to hold the Asian Cup across 10 cities in June-July next year, but has dropped the 24-team tournament because of “exceptional circumstances caused by […]

Etisalat launched its e& identity in February

$4.4bn sounds a lot but e& has made the right call on Vodafone

Vodafone and e&, formerly known as Etisalat, will look to launch new products globally while working together to make greater efficiencies following the UAE telco’s deal to buy a $4.4 billion stake. Following the announcement that the UAE’s biggest telecoms operator has acquired a 9.8 percent stake in British mobile operator Vodafone Group, AGBI spoke […]

Cryptocurrencies have their ‘Lehman brothers moment’

Despite the crash of cryptocurrency stablecoin ecosystem, retail investors still see the contraction of currencies like Bitcoin as an opportunity As billions of dollars of value are wiped off cryptocurrency markets worldwide, retail investor strategies are diverging from those in the institutional space — the former senses cheap assets, while the latter worries of a […]

Hotels swallow rising costs so guests can sleep at night

Despite costs rising to a three-year high, hoteliers in the United Arab Emirates told AGBI they are not planning to increase room rates, instead opting to squeeze their existing profits as they search for ways to increase operational efficiencies. The latest S&P Global UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), released on Monday, found that costs are […]

AerCap, the world's biggest aircraft lessor, has submitted a $3.5 billion insurance claim. Picture: Creative Commons

Billion dollar battle to begin for planes grounded in Russia

Lessors with hundreds of jets stuck in Russia are preparing for what one said would be a “vigorous” pursuit of insurance claims while maintaining discreet contact with some customers after Moscow blocked the jets from leaving. The loss of over 400 leased planes worth almost $10 billion since Western countries sanctioned Russia has led to […]

‘Savvy’ investors snap up DEWA shares

Plenty of mystery surrounds the listing of Dubai utilities giant DEWA, the Middle East’s largest IPO since the floating of Saudi Aramco in late 2019. When CNBC’s Dan Murphy organised an interview with DEWA’s CEO, he hoped to extricate some details from the infamously secretive boss.  Amid surging shares following news of the float, Saeed […]

Hezbollah are riding high in the polls
  • Analysis

Lebanese elections spark fears of more instability

The Lebanese government recently ordered the demolition of the blast-hit grain silos that were decimated during the August 4, 2020 port explosion. The silos absorbed much of the blast’s impact, saving sections of the city’s western residential areas from total devastation. The government has now determined that they must be removed amid reports that the tilting […]

Qatar scores as World Cup host but may not net long-term goals

Tucked behind Doha’s $300-million Lusail Boulevard, where construction workers are toiling to transform desert into a Champs-Elysees-inspired commercial thoroughfare before the 2022 soccer World Cup, sits a sole convenience store. With the main stadium, four skyscrapers and apartments designed for some 200,000 people all in Lusail, its manager Younes waits somewhat anxiously behind his till, […]

  • Analysis

Russia-Ukraine fallout puts fragile ‘frontier’ economies in MENA at risk

The fallout of the Russia-Ukraine war has just helped tip two of world’s poorest countries, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, into full-blown crises, and the list of those at risk – and the queue at the International Monetary Fund’s door – will only get longer from here. Countries such as Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt are at […]

In Syria, business hub hopes to drive recovery from war

In an industrial zone in northern Syria’s rebel-held city of Al-Bab, Abu Omar al-Shihabi’s smelter churns out iron bars he says can compete with any produced in Syria and beyond. The industrial zone is an unlikely business hub. It is located on the edge of a city which was once occupied by Islamic State and […]

Joe Biden is under pressure to bring down petrol prices in the US

Saudi Arabia leads OPEC move to drop energy watchdog’s data

A decision driven by Saudi Arabia that OPEC+ should stop using oil data from the West’s energy watchdog reflected concern about US influence on the figures, said sources, adding to strain on ties between Riyadh and Washington. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, a group referred to as OPEC+, has […]

Musk’s Twitter free speech promise may be tested in Middle East

In a region where the local media is often controlled by the state, millions of people rely on social media platforms to follow news and express their opinions. Both Twitter and Facebook showed their potential to influence real-life events during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, when they played an outsize role in social upheaval. But […]

Oil prices have rocketed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Tapping oil stockpiles may not be enough to plug loss of Russian supply

Top oil consuming nations may find that one of their main tools to fight high global oil prices – the release of strategic stockpiles – will prove inadequate to soothe markets starved of Russian supply since its invasion of Ukraine. The 31-member International Energy Agency, representing industrialised nations but not Russia, presided over the fourth […]

President Erdogan of Turkey
  • Analysis

Erdogan heads home from Riyadh, hoping to have mended ties

Three-and-a-half years after accusing Saudi Arabia of murder and running a sham trial over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has made a trip to the Gulf kingdom to mend ties. Turkey and Saudi Arabia have a common will to “reactivate a great economic potential” between the two countries, Erdogan said after […]