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Finance, economics, markets and trade news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

Investcorp co-CEO Rishi Kapoor. The Bahraini investment company has more than $50 billion in assets under management across three continents

Bahrain’s Investcorp completes first IPO in Indonesia

Investcorp has successfully listed its Indonesian franchisee of the Mothercare brand as its focus on Asia continues to grow. The listing of PT Multitrend Indo is the Bahrain alternative investment company’s first IPO on the Indonesian stock exchange and the 26th in its 40-year history. Mothercare is one of Indonesia’s leading baby and kids retailers, […]

Oil production in Oman rose very slightly in Q2, but prices and oil-related activity fell

Oman GDP falls after slowdown in oil activities

Oman’s GDP recorded a fall of 9.5 percent in the second quarter of this year, largely as a result of a slowdown in oil-related activities. The sultanate’s GDP was OMR10.1 billion ($26.24 billion) in the second quarter, compared with OMR11.1 billion for the same period last year, according to the National Center for Statistics and […]

Corn harvest season in Zhangye, Gansu Province. China has trained 10,000 agricultural officials and staff from 22 Arab League member countries

China and Arab states sign $471m worth of agri deals

A total of 34 deals worth AED1.73 billion ($471 million) were signed at the China-Arab States Expo, promoting cooperation and development in the agricultural sector. Agriculture has become an important part of China-Arab cooperation, and trade in agricultural products has recorded steady growth, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported, citing the China Economic Net […]

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has opened a Saudi headquarters

More companies set up Saudi HQs as deadline nears

Saudi Arabia has had limited success so far in its plan to tempt major companies to open regional headquarters in the kingdom, but more are obliging as the deadline to do so draws nearer. Among the companies relocating their main offices – or at least creating a presence in the kingdom – are international names […]

Logo, Person, Man

Egypt says IMF to merge two reviews of reform program

Egypt said it had agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to merge the fund’s first and second reviews of its economic reform programme, after the first review was repeatedly delayed amid questions over Egypt’s progress in meeting the IMF’s terms. The IMF in December approved a $3 billion extended fund facility loan for Egypt, […]

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is thought to be delaying devaluing the pound until after the next election, which could take place this year

Egypt’s economic outlook darkens as IMF postpones review

Egypt’s efforts to revive its economy were dealt a major setback this week after the IMF postponed its eagerly awaited September review of Egypt’s $3 billion bailout programme until the first quarter of 2024.  Originally scheduled to take place in March, it would have been the IMF’s first review of the $3 billion loan it […]

Abu Dhabi acquisition printing press

Abu Dhabi deal could bolster ‘blank cheque’ companies

The first so-called “blank-cheque” company to list in the Middle East this week signed a deal with United Printing & Publishing, an Abu Dhabi state investment fund business. Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) raise money through an initial public offering and then use the proceeds to acquire other companies. ADC Acquisition Corporation is the UAE’s […]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's number one priority is funding the kingdom's Vision 2030 giga-projects

Saudi economy slips as government pushes oil cuts

Analysts see the Saudi economy contracting in 2023 as a result of voluntary oil production cuts.  Higher prices, however, will still ensure that state coffers are full enough to meet the kingdom’s number one priority – funding its mammoth Vision 2030 diversification projects.  The International Monetary Fund said this month it saw a slowdown in […]

Egypt inflation interest rate

Egypt’s central bank keeps key interest rates steady

Egypt’s central bank, as widely expected, left its key overnight interest rates unchanged on Thursday, saying both economic growth and core inflation were slowing. The bank kept its lending rate at 20.25 percent and its deposit rate at 19.25 percent. The median forecast in a poll of 17 analysts had been for the bank’s monetary […]

Shoppers at a supermarket in Sanaa, Yemen. In the UAE, inflation in the cost of staples such as flour is slowing

Turkey hikes rates to 30% to strengthen hawkish turn

Turkey’s central bank raised its key interest rate by a lofty 500 basis points to 30 percent on Thursday, marking a second month of aggressive tightening after President Tayyip Erdogan set aside his long opposition to tight policy. The bank reiterated it is ready to raise rates further as needed to rein in inflation that […]

Talks between Egypt and the UAE over the loan deal to purchase wheat from Kazakhstan are in early stages

Egypt in talks with UAE bank to fund wheat purchase

Egypt is in talks with an Abu Dhabi-based bank for a loan facility that would finance wheat purchases from Kazakhstan, three traders told Reuters. The move could give Egypt a cheap alternative to grain from Russia, which has supplied an increasing share of Egypt’s wheat since last year but recently blocked a deal for a […]

Muscat Stock Exchange will offer Oman's biggest IPO

Strong demand for Oman’s biggest IPO in two decades

Oman’s joint-biggest initial public offering is attracting huge interest among retail investors, despite subdued recent activity on Muscat’s bourse, a senior financial industry executive told AGBI. OQ Gas Network (OQGN), a subsidiary of national oil company OQ, will sell 49 percent – or 2.12 billion – of its shares in an IPO. The company this […]

A Bako electric car in Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia. Clean transport is one of the many sectors that can benefit from HSBC's $1bn fund

Mena companies can tap $1bn HSBC climate tech fund

HSBC has set aside $1 billion to help finance early-stage climate tech companies around the world, and “transformative investment opportunities” exist in the Middle East and Turkey, according to its regional chief.  “The Middle East has a key role to play in the transition to a net zero global economy,” said Patricia Gomes, regional head […]

The Fed has announced 11 rate hikes since March 2022, but decided to hold its benchmark rate steady

Fed interest rate pause will help GCC non-oil sector

The decision by the US Federal Reserve to leave policy rates unchanged will have a positive impact on the non-oil sectors of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, according to leading economists. The Fed has announced 11 rate hikes since March 2022, but on Wednesday decided to hold its benchmark rate steady, albeit at a 22-year […]

Cuisine in India and the Middle East is ‘incomplete without spices’, said Indian minister Piyush Goyal

India-Middle East-Europe corridor to revive spice route

Indian spices and spice products are likely to be the first commercial products to find their way through the new India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec), an Indian minister has said. Imec, announced last month at the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, aims to integrate railway routes and link ports along a route from India […]

Ades Holding is expected to raise about $1.22bn from selling more than 338.72 million existing and new shares

PIF-backed Ades Holding’s order book hits $76bn

Saudi oil and gas driller Ades Holding set the final price for its initial public offering (IPO) at the top-end at SAR 13.50, implying a valuation of SAR 15.242 billion ($4.06 billion). The institutional book-building process was 62.7 times oversubscribed, while the order book stood at SAR 286.853 billion ($76.49 billion). The Public Investment Fund-backed […]

Palestine startups

Funding options on the rise for Palestine startups

Palestine is home to a wealth of entrepreneurial talent but its startups have struggled to gain access to funding. A number of initiatives are aiming to change all that by doubling the amount of startup funding available and offering mentoring opportunities. Support is also being offered to Palestinians living in the Middle East and North […]

Tomislav Momirovic, Serbia’s trade minister, with his UAE counterpart Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi at the trade talks

UAE-Serbia talks begin in Dubai as trade speeds up

“I want to have Dubai as a base for my business and innovation,” says Novak Djokovic. “I love the champion mentality.” The world tennis number one, arguably Serbia’s most famous son, describes the emirate as his “second home”. Emirati officials, who launched trade talks with the European country on Monday, will be hoping Djokovic’s compatriots […]

oil $100 oil price

$100 a barrel oil raises global inflation fears

Oil has risen to its highest level since November, reigniting fears over inflationary pressures on the global economy as it approaches $100 a barrel. Brent crude hit $95 barrel this week, before reducing gains, as the extension of Opec+ supply cuts tightened the markets. In a sign of a massive uptick in the energy markets, […]

The Fuze team, from left: CTO Srijan Shetty, CEO Mohammed Ali Yusuf and COO Arpit Mehta

Digital assets startup Fuze raises $14m in seed round

UAE digital assets provider Fuze has raised $14 million in a funding round, in what it claims is the “largest” seed investment in a digital assets startup in the Middle East and North Africa.  The investment was led by Abu Dhabi-based Further Ventures, with participation by US-based Liberty City Ventures.  The startup enables banks, fintechs […]

The private funding round values Israeli cybersecurity startup Cato Networks at $3 billion

Israeli cybersecurity startup Cato Networks raises $238m

Israeli cybersecurity company Cato Networks said on Tuesday it had raised $238 million in a private funding round that valued the company at $3 billion. The round, one of Israel’s largest this year and Cato’s biggest, was led by LightSpeed Venture Partners, with the participation of Adams Street Partners, Softbank Vision Fund 2, Sixty Degree […]

“Climate change is already dramatically affecting us,” says IMF head Kristalina Georgieva

IMF lends Morocco $1.3bn to fight climate change

The International Monetary Fund is to lend Morocco $1.3 billion to help the country guard against climate-related risks. The staff-level agreement was confirmed by Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, who said the funding would be used to build resilience against future climate disasters. “Climate change is already dramatically affecting us,” Georgieva said in […]