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Banking & Finance

UK drops plan to tax sovereign wealth funds

British finance minister Jeremy Hunt has dropped a plan to tax sovereign wealth funds investing in Britain, according to a government document. The report, detailing the measures in a budget plan announced by Hunt on Wednesday, said “the government has carefully considered” responses to its consultation on the immunity of sovereign funds from direct taxation. […]

A make-or-break weekend for Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse Group AG chief financial officer Dixit Joshi and his team will hold meetings over the weekend to assess strategic scenarios for the embattled Swiss bank as it enters a make-or-break weekend. Credit Suisse was thrown a $54 billion lifeline by the Swiss central bank on Thursday to shore up liquidity after a slump […]

UAE startups and neobanks

SVB collapse may boost UAE startup business for neobanks

One thing is more certain than not in the ongoing confusion caused by last week’s Silicon Valley Bank collapse: traditional lenders in the Gulf are likely to make it even more difficult for UAE startups to open bank accounts and borrow money.  Emerging digital lenders in the region are hoping that this creates a big […]

GCC banks

GCC lenders can withstand US contagion risk

GCC lenders are well equipped to withstand the current crisis in the world’s banking sector, according to experts from ratings agency S&P Global. The turbulence in the industry over the last seven days – which has seen the high-profile collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank in the US, and the bailout of […]

Abu Dhabi fund to invest $500m in Indian eyewear startup

The UAE’s sovereign fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) will invest $500 million in Lenskart, becoming the largest stakeholder in the India-based eyewear retailer. The companies have signed a definitive document through which ADIA’s wholly owned subsidiary will route the investment by purchasing both primary and secondary shares in Lenskart.  The deal is subject to statutory and regulatory approvals. The […]

SNB Credit Suisse

Saudi National Bank has liquidity to withstand Credit Suisse shock

Saudi National Bank has enough liquidity to withstand any losses arising from the troubled Credit Suisse, according to a leading economist. SNB, the kingdom’s biggest lender, took a stake of almost 10 percent in Credit Suisse last year after it participated in the bank’s $4.3 billion capital raise. It became its largest shareholder, with a […]

Saudi to speed up investments in Iran after diplomatic pact

Saudi Arabia’s finance minister Mohammed Al Jadaan has said that Saudi investments into Iran could happen “very quickly” following an agreement to restore diplomatic ties. “There are a lot of opportunities for Saudi investments in Iran. We don’t see impediments as long as the terms of any agreement would be respected,” Al Jadaan said during […]

Credit Suisse bank headquarters in New York

Credit Suisse intends to borrow up to $54bn to boost liquidity

Credit Suisse Group AG said on Thursday it intended to borrow up to 50 billion Swiss francs ($54 billion) from the Swiss National Bank in what it called “decisive action” to boost its liquidity. Swiss regulators pledged a liquidity lifeline to Credit Suisse in an unprecedented move by a central bank after the flagship Swiss […]

Shares in Credit Suisse plunged 30% to a record low on Wednesday

No more investment in Credit Suisse, says Saudi National Bank

Saudi National Bank has ruled out any further investment in Credit Suisse as the troubled Swiss bank shed a quarter of its value on Wednesday. Saudi National Bank (SNB) chairman Ammar Al Khudairy said during an interview with Bloomberg TV that investing any more would then increase its current 10 percent stake in the the […]

Flat6Labs Afica VC fund

Cairo VC firm launches $95m African startup fund

Venture capital firm Flat6Labs has announced a $95 million seed fund to grow early-stage African tech startups. The African Seed Fund (ASF) will invest in more than 160 companies over the next five years. It will pay particular attention to sectors that accelerate digital inclusion through information technology, as well as healthtech, fintech, edtech, greentech, […]

The transition to renewable energy will affect the economies of Gulf states

UAE and Kuwait banks least at risk from energy transition

UAE and Kuwait banks are the least exposed in the region to the impact of the energy transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources such as wind and solar. The new research comes as the UAE’s top banks saw profits rise by nearly one-third last year. As part of the global climate change […]

Abu Dhabi’s AI firm buys stake in TikTok owner at $220bn valuation

Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence firm G42 has acquired an over $100 million stake in ByteDance, valuing the Chinese owner of TikTok at $220 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing informed sources. G42, owned by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who is the UAE’s national security adviser, bought the stake from existing investors in recent months through […]

Turkey’s central bank receives $5bn deposit from Saudi Arabia

A deposit of $5 billion from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) entered the accounts of the Turkish Central Bank on Monday. The central bank declined comment on the issue. Saudi minister of finance Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan had announced his country’s intention to make the deposit in December and the SFD said on March […]

Israel says immediate liquidity risk averted after SVB collapse

A panel formed by Israel’s finance ministry to assess the fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has determined that the immediate liquidity risk has been averted. The ministry in a statement cited a decision by US authorities to back accounts – even those uninsured – at the bank, which has been an […]

Customers line up outside of the Silicon Valley Bank headquarters,

SVB collapse likely to bring down Gulf interest rates

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and continuing concerns over the broader financial stability of the market could help to bring down interest rates across the Gulf. Following SVB’s demise, US interest rates fell sharply from 5.05 percent to 4.10 percent in just three days – a scale of drop only matched by events […]

Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund

PIF maps out plans to boost Saudi private sector

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has launched a package of initiatives aimed at increasing involvement by local businesses in its portfolio activities.  The three moves announced on Tuesday include the official launch of PIF’s Local Content Growth programme – known as Musahama – which aims to increase the share of local spend in the sovereign […]

Gulf countries are still playing catch-up on the fintech boom following the financial crisis of 2008-09

Gulf edges closer to its first homegrown tech unicorn

The Gulf region is two years away from realising its first tech unicorn, according to Mohammad Alblooshi, head of Dubai International Financial Centre’s Fintech Hive. Becoming a unicorn – a company with a valuation over $1 billion before being listed on the stock exchange – is the dream of many tech startups. In the fintech […]

Turkey’s current account deficit widens to $9.9bn in January

Turkey’s current account deficit widened to $9.85 billion in January, data from the central bank showed, the highest level in four decades of available data, driven by a soaring energy bill and gold imports. It was the highest monthly deficit since 1984, the first year for which such data is available, according to central bank […]