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A 2021 match in League 2 – the old fourth division. The white paper will reportedly apply to the top five tiers of English football

English football ‘shake-up’ will not deter Middle East investors

A shake-up of ownership rules in English football is unlikely to put off Middle East investors, industry analysts have said. On Thursday, British tabloid The Sun reported that it had seen a leaked copy of the UK government’s football white paper, stating that takeovers of football clubs could be blocked if the prospective owners could […]

Saudi tops emerging markets with $10bn bond issuances

A roaring start to the year for debt issuance has helped lift sovereign emerging market bond sales to a record $44 billion peak in January with investors keen to deploy piles of cash. So far investment-grade-rated Saudi Arabia is the largest borrower, having sold $10 billion of dollar bonds this year. Nearly $40 billion of […]

Coat, Clothing, Person

Aramco-backed Insilico opens new lab to ‘extend human life’

Insilico Medicine, the Hong Kong-based Aramco-backed health technology company, opened its eighth global laboratory this week at Abu Dhabi’s Masdar complex. The lab aims to support Middle East efforts to find new drugs that prolong human life. “My hope for the region is that it realises it can be a big player in drug discovery,” […]

Startup academy

New academy to help Mena startups tap into Africa

As competition within the Middle East’s startup sector intensifies, a new academy is offering free advisory services, especially those looking to scale up in the African market. The DAI Magister Academy, founded last summer by boutique investment bank DAI Magister, has already helped several startups in Africa. It now hopes to develop across the Mena […]

Fossil fuels should stop being subsidised, says Dr Nasser Saidi

GCC ‘must impose carbon tax’, says clean energy chief

GCC countries should introduce a carbon tax and reduce subsidies for fossil fuels as part of the fight against climate change, Dr Nasser Saidi, chairman of the Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC), has said. Speaking at the 10th annual CEBC summit, Dr Saidi said: “Subsidies in our part of the world are among the highest […]

Opec+ sticks to oil output on hopes of higher Chinese demand

An Opec+ panel endorsed the oil producer group’s current output policy at a meeting on Wednesday, leaving production cuts agreed last year in place amid hopes of higher Chinese demand and uncertain prospects for Russian supply. Ministers from Opec+ countries – members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and others including Russia – […]

Building, City, Town

Most GCC central banks except Qatar mirror Fed rate hike

Most central banks across the Gulf raised key interest rates on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve increased its target interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, although Qatar opted to hold. The Fed raised its target interest rate by 25 basis points (bps), signaling a more dovish stance after a series of […]

Gold Middle East

High inflation boosts demand for gold

Demand for gold coins, bars and jewellery soared in the Middle East last year, according to the World Gold Council. In 2022 demand for gold coins and bars in the Mena region surged 42 percent year-on-year to 77.8 tonnes, the highest annual total since 2018.  “Egypt, Qatar, Iraq, the UAE and Oman significantly boosted their […]

GCC construction contracts

Gulf project contracts to hit $110bn this year

A combined $110 billion worth of project contracts are expected to be awarded in the GCC this year, with Saudi Arabia accounting for more than half of the total as it ramps up its Vision 2030 economic diversification plans.  Saudi Arabia make up $64 billion of the combined value, followed by the UAE ($23 billion), […]

People, Person, Man

Middle East stock markets set to continue strong run of IPOs

The stock markets in the Middle East and North Africa are preparing for a strong pipeline of initial public offerings (IPOs) in the coming months. Bourses across the region are looking to build on the success of 2022 when it saw a record number of 51 IPOs and combined proceeds of $22 billion. Abu Dhabi […]

Blacklane operates in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Doha, Jeddah, Mecca, Muscat and Riyadh

Chauffeur firm gains UAE investor for premium Gulf service

Chauffeur operator Blacklane has attracted investment from Dubai conglomerate Gargash Group, as it aims to offer Gulf passengers a more luxurious alternative to ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Careem. Founded in Berlin in 2011, Blacklane is active in around 50 countries. It launched in the Gulf in 2016 and currently operates in Dubai, Abu […]

Chinese shoppers at a mall in Sanya, Hainan province, on January 25. Analysts expect China's economy to recover quickly after the lifting of Covid restrictions

Beijing and Brussels ‘go head to head in fight for Mena oil and gas’

The Middle East and North Africa will be one of the main beneficiaries of China’s decision to drop its zero-Covid policy, as Beijing competes with Europe for limited energy resources, according to analysts at Bank of America. “From a macro-perspective, it’s very easy to be bullish on the Mena region,” said Jean-Michel Saliba, a director […]

Rishi Kapoor, co-chief executive officer of Investcorp

Investcorp to set up ‘multi-billion dollar’ sustainability platform

Investcorp has revealed plans to establish a “multi-billion dollar” sustainability platform to capitalise on what co-CEO Rishi Kapoor described as “the most attractive opportunity from an investment perspective that we have seen in a generation”. A report from consultants McKinsey estimates $250 trillion of cumulative spending on physical assets is needed over the next three […]

Halliburton's president and CEO Jeff Miller and Aramco's senior vice president of upstream Nasir Al-Naimi arrive for a ceremony to inaugurate the first Halliburton Chemical Reaction Plant in Saudi Arabia

Energy giant Halliburton expects Middle East to fuel growth

US energy firm Halliburton predicts its international activity will grow at least in the “mid-teens” this year, driven by upcoming works in the Middle East and Latin America. During its latest earnings call the oilfield services company revealed $5.6 billion in total revenue for the third quarter of 2022, up 18 percent from $5.4 billion […]

Technology is believed to be the No1 disruptor this year

Technology is ‘biggest disruptor’ for regional CEOs this year

Two-thirds of chief executives in the Middle East view technology as having the biggest potential to disrupt their businesses in 2023 and beyond, above supply chain, regulations, energy and other issues. For its latest annual CEO Survey, PwC asked 4,410 chief executives across 64 countries the extent to which a range of potential disruptions would […]

All GCC capital markets are expected to be busy in 2023

‘Pent-up demand’ to lift GCC markets, says law firm boss

Appetite for GCC debt and equity will pick up this year after a sluggish 12 months, as investors take comfort in a more predictable interest rate environment and the region’s relative political calm.  That is according to Jonathan Fried, Middle East managing partner of global law firm Linklaters, who took over the reins heading up […]

Head, Person, Face

Bargain buys and law reforms tipped to drive deal-making

When Oman Qatar Insurance and Vision Insurance signed a merger pact in December, it rounded off a busy year of M&A activity in the Middle East. The proposal, which is still subject to approval from regulators and shareholders, was one of hundreds of deals struck across the region.  Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright predicts […]

UAE and Saudi economies to slip this year on lower oil demand

Economies in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will grow this year at half the rate of 2022 as oil revenues take a hit from an expected mild global slowdown, according to the median view from a Reuters poll of economists. Crude oil prices, a major driver for Gulf economies, are down more than a […]

Opec+ panel unlikely to tweak oil policy at February 1 meeting

An Opec+ panel is likely to endorse the producer group’s current oil output policy when it meets next week, five Opec+ sources have said, as hopes that improved Chinese demand would drive an oil price rally were balanced by economic concerns. Ministers from Opec and allies led by Russia, known collectively as Opec+, meet virtually […]

Gulf marters China recovery

Gulf stock markets rise with optimism about China’s economy

Gulf stock markets closed higher on Tuesday on expectations of economic recovery in the world’s second largest economy, China, and smaller interest rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve. The Fed will end its tightening cycle after a 25-basis-point hike at each of its next two policy meetings and then likely hold interest rates steady […]