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Matt Smith

Reporter

Matt Smith is a former Reuters correspondent who has covered the Middle East and North Africa since 2006, specialising in various sectors including stock markets, telecoms, technology, banking and finance

Matt Smith
A Human Horizons EV. PIF’s investment could potentially value the Shanghai-based company at $3bn

PIF top spender among sovereign funds in 2023

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF), was the top spender worldwide among state-owned investors, the 2024 Global Sovereign Wealth Fund report has revealed, underlining the kingdom’s determination to reallocate its hydrocarbon revenues to diversify and expand its domestic economy. State-owned investors include sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), public pension funds and central banks, […]

An investor walks through the Dubai Financial Market. The emirate's stock exchange is expected to outperform in 2024

Dubai and Saudi markets likely to perform best in 2024

Dubai and Saudi Arabia have been the top performers in a mixed year for Gulf stock markets and it is likely the duo will again outpace their regional rivals in 2024, analysts predict. As of December 18, Dubai’s index had gained about 19.7 percent and Saudi Arabia was up 8 percent. Yet Abu Dhabi – […]

Pure Health has subsidiaries that run clinics and hospitals, and provide health insurance

Shares in Abu Dhabi’s Pure Health surge on bourse debut

Shares in Abu Dhabi’s Pure Health gained more than 70 percent on its debut on the UAE capital’s bourse on Wednesday. The healthcare provider, part-owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign fund ADQ, sold 10 percent of its stock at AED 3.26 ($0.89) per share in an initial public offering that raised AED 3.62 billion ($986 million) […]

Yellow Door Energy chief operating officer Rory McCarthy

Yellow Door targets South Africa and Saudi Arabia

Yellow Door Energy, the Dubai solar electricity provider that has raised nearly $500 million in funding from investors, is targeting South Africa and Saudi Arabia as key growth markets. The company builds bespoke solar power plants for corporate clients, usually at their premises. These include factories, offices, shopping malls and warehouses. Yellow Door also finances, […]

An exchange office showing weakened rates for the lira. Its value has since fallen further

Turkish lira expected to weaken further in 2024 

Turkey’s currency will weaken by about one-third versus the dollar next year to hit new all-time lows, analysts predict, as a sharp increase in interest rates does little to tame domestic inflation or convince Turks to hold the ailing lira. The tenure of Hafize Gaye Erkan, Turkey’s central bank’s governor appointed in June, may also […]

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) was the primary lender in the Saudi syndicated loan

Saudi Arabia seals $11bn syndicated bank loan

Saudi Arabia has concluded an $11 billion syndicated loan arranged from a group of lenders to help fund its vast infrastructure developments in what an adviser to the agreement describes as the largest government loan worldwide this year. The 10-year facility is also the biggest loan to any borrower in Europe, the Middle East and […]

Conversation, Person, Adult

New certification to swell sharia-compliant funds

A London-based fund manager hopes a pioneering Islamic finance certification can boost sharia-compliant equity investments worldwide and help ensure Muslim clients’ wealth is deployed to meet both their religious ideals and benefit society. Most sharia-compliant equity funds focus on excluding haram industries such as alcohol, tobacco, weapons, pork and gambling. Yet such a methodology has […]

A woman checks her jewellery in Mumbai. The UAE’s top gold export market is India

Gold to glisten despite world’s economic concerns

Central bank demand helped lift gold prices to all-time highs this month and further accumulation should support the precious metal next year despite a likely slowdown in the global economy, a top industry official has told AGBI. Gold’s performance is important to the United Arab Emirates. The country is a major processor and the world’s […]

Oman geologic hydrogen Eden

Oman could become world leader in geologic hydrogen

Green hydrogen has made global headlines as a potential carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels, but some experts believe another, abundant source of the gas could be under our feet. It is known as geologic hydrogen. Geologic hydrogen occurs naturally in the earth’s crust and is produced when water reacts with iron-rich rocks in the subsurface. […]

Clothing, Shorts, City

Late-year flurry could boost the sukuk market

Sukuk issuance fell in the first nine months of 2023 – but this year’s total could yet equal that of 2022, Fitch Ratings’ Islamic finance chief told AGBI.  Gulf governments and corporations are issuing sharia-compliant bonds to diversify their funding and ease their reliance on bank borrowing. Sukuk were developed as an alternative to conventional […]

ENBD REIT Uninest accommodation

Real estate trusts struggle despite strong Dubai market

Dubai’s resurgent property market has delivered riches to property owners and shareholders of leading developers like Emaar Properties, but investors in two listed Dubai real estate investment trusts – Emirates REIT and ENBD REIT – are nursing sustained losses. Both trusts are listed on Nasdaq Dubai. The emirate’s international bourse launched in 2005 with the […]

Riyadh's green spaces will be expanded under the scheme

$92bn plan to make Riyadh greener for Expo 2030  

Saudi Arabia will invest $92 billion to make Riyadh one of the world’s most sustainable cities by 2030, the kingdom’s tourism minister has said. Riyadh was awarded hosting rights for the 2030 World Expo, an event Dubai staged to widespread acclaim in 2021-2022 following a one-year delay due to the pandemic. Princess Haifa bint Mohammed […]

A man rides a bicycle past bank Emirates NBD head office in Dubai, UAE

UAE bank profits grow on greater lending and higher interest

The UAE’s top 10 banks expanded their combined net profits in the third quarter versus the previous three months thanks to growing demand for corporate and retail borrowing, improved lending margins and lower impairments. A report by consultants Alvarez & Marsal studied the country’s biggest homegrown lenders by assets including leading duo First Abu Dhabi […]

Woman chef arrsanging food at dnata

Dubai’s investment arm almost doubles profits

Transport and finance have helped the Dubai government’s investment body almost double profits for the first half of the year. Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) reported an 86 percent rise in first-half net profit on Thursday as earnings from its financial services and transportation divisions surged. ICD, which is the Dubai government’s main investment unit, […]

On top of the world: as Dubai's largest real-estate developer, Emaar is seen as a safe bet for investors

Investors favour Emaar for Dubai property returns

Dubai’s residential property sector rebound has reaped huge profits for the emirate’s developers and landlords. Yet for equity traders, there is really only one investible conglomerate: Emaar Properties and its subsidiary, Emaar Development. There has been upheaval among second-tier developers listed on Dubai’s bourse, while the other major players, such as Nakheel, Dubai Properties and […]

ADIB headquarters building ADIB’s earnings increased by almost half during the first nine months of 2023

ADIB expects profits to keep rising after stellar year

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s net profit margin will expand further, according to its group chief financial officer Mohamed Abdelbary. The sharia-compliant lender has enjoyed a bumper first nine months of 2023 in which its earnings increased by nearly half. “We’ve managed to capitalise on the increase in interest rates in the market because of the […]

Carbon credits are traded by companies to offset their emissions

Dubai startup to create Africa carbon offset projects

Dubai’s Blue Carbon will deliver environmental and societal benefits from its carbon offset projects in Africa, a senior executive has said, rejecting criticism from independent experts who question whether such schemes lead to real emissions reductions. In September Blue Carbon, whose chairman is Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook al Maktoum of Dubai’s ruling family, signed a memorandum […]

Woman in forest with sun shining

Adnoc says revised emissions target is ‘strong step’ forward

Adnoc, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, aims to be “net-zero operations” in terms of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, five years earlier than originally planned. The government-owned energy company is investing billions of dollars to cut its in-house carbon emissions. Crucially, its targets exclude emissions created by customers consuming its oil and gas, although […]

Cabin crew member Anna Orszulik and pilot Wilfried Woelfel in a VistaJet Global 7500: the company offers 'an alternative to private jet ownership'

India and Gulf tipped as key markets for private jet hire

Private jet operator Vista Global Holding is expecting the Middle East and India to be its fastest-growing markets in the luxury aviation industry. The Dubai company’s “pay for hours flown” platform, VistaJet, has a fleet of about 360 aircraft available at 24 hours’ notice. “The most dynamic and fast-growing markets for us are the Middle […]

An Adnoc petrol station in Sharjah. The oil giant aims to raise production capacity to 5m barrels per day

Hydrocarbon has role in ‘fair’ energy transition, says Adnoc

Adnoc believes hydrocarbons will play a role in the energy transition despite their contribution to climate change, the Abu Dhabi state oil company has told AGBI. “All credible energy outlooks” show that “both renewable and conventional energy will continue to be needed to ensure a fair and responsible energy transition,” said a spokesperson. “We recognise […]

A 19-seater operated by VistaJet, one of the Gulf's private jet companies

Gulf’s thriving private jet industry uncowed by eco concerns

The Gulf’s private aviation industry is buoyant as executives, ruling family members and other wealthy individuals use its services to travel across the region and beyond. In the first half of 2023, there were 7,300 private flights to or from Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub, which is part of Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC). […]

aviation offset sustainable aviation fuel

Aviation in struggle to reach net zero targets

Gulf commercial airlines have committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 by switching to sustainable aviation fuels, adopting new technologies and buying carbon offsets, among other measures. But they face challenges in doing so. The aviation industry hopes measures such as these will enable it to realise two seemingly conflicting ambitions: doubling the volume […]