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Banking & Finance

Emirates NBD

A first as Dubai bank prices $600m sukuk for US firm

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, has successfully priced a $600 million sukuk for New York-listed Air Lease Corporation. It marks the first sukuk issued by a US corporation. A sukuk is a Sharia-compliant financial certificate, similar to a bond in Western finance but that complies with Islamic religious law. The five-year sukuk saw robust demand, […]

Foreign investors test Turkey’s waters after years in the cold

Scores of foreign investors are returning to Istanbul and Ankara after years in the cold for a flurry of meetings to understand whether Turkish elections could bring a tidal change for its economy and financial markets. According to several investors and bankers involved, large foreign lenders including BBVA and BNP Paribas organised trips and calls […]

Adnoc group CEO

Adnoc lines up another unit for Abu Dhabi listing

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) plans to launch an initial public offering of its maritime and logistics unit in June, Reuters reported, in what will be the government-owned conglomerate’s latest flotation of an ancillary business.  Adnoc’s part-privatisation drive began in 2017. It has sold minor stakes in subsidiaries Adnoc Drilling, Adnoc Gas, Adnoc Distribution, […]

Flag, Turkey Flag

Turkey holds policy rate at 8.5% to support growth after quakes

Turkey’s central bank held its policy rate at 8.5 percent as expected on Thursday, saying it had become even more important to keep financial conditions supportive to preserve growth momentum after last month’s devastating earthquakes. In February the bank had cut its policy rate by 50 basis points to provide a stimulus in the wake […]

money transfer, remittance

Rising cost of living boosts Mena remittance flows by 73%

The higher global cost of living in the Middle East and North Africa has resulted in a 73 percent increase in the remittance of money across the region, according to new research published this week. US global money transfer company Western Union found that 79 percent of those receiving funds in the Mena region between […]

Aqaba Container Terminal was developed via a PPP deal with APM Terminals, part of Maersk

PPP pioneer has all the right moves – now it needs new partners

Jordan is a pioneer of public-private partnerships in the Mena region – and has been since the early 2000s, when the new Queen Alia airport was constructed under a PPP deal.  Marquee developments such as Aqaba Container Terminal and a range of water and renewable energy projects have since been financed via PPP, says Hamzeh […]

Fed interest rates

GCC economies to weather latest Fed rate hike

Gulf economies will be able to absorb the latest rate hike from the US Federal Reserve, but the ripple effect from the rise will still have repercussions throughout the region, according to economists. Despite uncertainty across the banking sector, the Fed raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, less than […]

US Federal Reserve chair says SVB management ‘failed badly’

The management of Silicon Valley Bank “failed badly,” Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday, but its collapse also underscores the need for better controls despite what had been escalating oversight by the Fed’s own examiners. “These are not weaknesses that are running broadly through the banking system,” Powell told a press conference after the Fed’s […]

Person, Human, Text

Taliban names new central bank chief to access blocked funds

The Taliban administration’s former acting finance minister, Mullah Hidayatullah Badri, has been appointed as governor of Afghanistan’s central bank, a finance ministry spokesman said. Badri, who acted as the Taliban’s finance minister and oversaw budgets after they regained power in 2021, had already taken up his new role, finance ministry spokesman Ahmad Wali Haqmal told […]

Saudi and UAE investors plan to invest in Elon Musk’s SpaceX

A unit of Saudi Arabia’s investment fund and an Abu Dhabi-based company are planning to invest in a multi-billion dollar funding round for Elon Musk-led SpaceX. The funding round is expected to value the rocket maker at about $140 billion, a US-based tech industry-focused business publication reported. SpaceX raised $2 billion in 2022 and $2.6 billion […]

World Bank approves $7bn loan to accelerate Egypt reforms

The World Bank has approved a new $7 billion partnership agreement with Egypt for 2023-2027 with a focus on boosting private sector jobs, provision of better health and education services and adaptation to climate change. The country partnership agreement (CPF) will entail $1 billion per year from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) […]

Kuwait’s Agility awarded $1.65bn in dispute with Iraqi telecom firm

Kuwaiti logistic firm Agility said one of its subsidiaries and an affiliate have been awarded $1.65 billion in damages in an arbitration case against Iraq’s Korek Telecom and prominent Iraqi Kurdish businessman Sirwan Barzani. Agility said that the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce had awarded subsidiary Agility Public Warehousing Company […]

Israel’s trading platform eToro valued at $3.5bn in funding round

Israeli online trading platform eToro said on Tuesday it had recently raised $250 million in a funding round that valued the online brokerage at $3.5 billion, months after its proposed merger with a blank-check company fell through. The funding round was backed by Ion Group, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Velvet Sea Ventures and others, eToro […]

Climate ministers support ‘greening’ of World Bank

The World Bank should play a greater role in combating climate change on top of its traditional role as a poverty fighter, according to ministers and delegates gathered in Copenhagen this week to kick-start discussions ahead of Cop28, which takes place at the end of the year. US President Joe Biden’s administration, which has nominated […]

A man counts Lebanese pound banknotes at an exchange shop in Beirut

Lebanon to sell unlimited US dollars to prop up pound

Lebanon’s central bank will begin selling unlimited amounts of US dollars in a bid to halt the spiralling devaluation of the Lebanese pound, governor Riad Salameh said. Salameh set a new rate for Sayrafa, the central bank’s exchange platform, at 90,000 Lebanese pounds per dollar on Tuesday. He set the rate at 70,000 on March […]

Turkey's central bank

Saudi Arabia’s deposit lifts Turkey’s forex reserves to $25bn

The Turkish central bank’s net international reserves rose by $6 billion last week to $25 billion, three bankers’ calculations showed, after a $5 billion deposit from Saudi Arabia entered its accounts. The central bank’s gross reserves rose $6.5 billion to $126.5 billion in the same period, they showed. A deposit of $5 billion from the […]

Credit Suisse, which was taken over by UBS this week, is part owned by SNB

SNB shares rebound following UBS-Credit Suisse deal

Shares in SNB on Tuesday rose for a second session since the state-backed lender said its profits would be unaffected by the UBS takeover of rival Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank in which it owns a minority stake.  Saudi National Bank’s stock rose 3.4 percent to SR45.90 ($12.24), taking its gains to 10.6 percent from […]

Dubai startup fund aims to be worth $7bn within 10 years

Dubai Future District Fund is aiming to have $7 billion worth of assets under management within 10 years, creating more than 185,000 jobs and contributing $20 billion to the emirate’s gross domestic product. The government-backed fund – launched in 2020 by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – has invested $28 million to […]

Over 1$7bn of Credit Suisse AT1 debt written down to zero

Just over $17 billion worth of Credit Suisse bonds, known as Additional Tier 1 or AT1, debt will be written down to zero on the orders of the Swiss regulator as part of a rescue merger with UBS. Under the deal, holders of Credit Suisse AT1 bonds will get nothing, while shareholders, who usually rank below […]

EU-led donors to provide $7.5bn to help rebuild quake-hit Turkey

Donors at a European Union (EU)-led conference on Monday pledged €7 billion ($7.5 bln) to help to rebuild Turkey after last month’s devastating earthquakes, while Ankara estimated the costs at more than ten times that. The February 6 earthquakes were the worst natural disaster to strike modern-day Turkey with more than 56,000 people killed in […]

EU lending arm to override Turkey ban with $540m earthquake aid

The European Union’s (EU) lending arm, the European Investment Bank, is to temporarily override its near four-year long ban on financing in Turkey to provide €500 million ($540 million) for the country’s post-earthquake rebuilding efforts. The EIB stopped virtually all lending in Turkey after a row over oil and gas drilling off Cyprus in 2019, […]