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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

‘Savvy’ investors snap up DEWA shares

Plenty of mystery surrounds the listing of Dubai utilities giant DEWA, the Middle East’s largest IPO since the floating of Saudi Aramco in late 2019. When CNBC’s Dan Murphy organised an interview with DEWA’s CEO, he hoped to extricate some details from the infamously secretive boss.  Amid surging shares following news of the float, Saeed […]

How I got to the top: Kamal Al Samarrai, co-founder, Verity

What does your company do? Verity is a UAE-based fintech startup on a mission to teach kids and teens how to earn, save, give and spend responsibly, while offering parents the ability to guide their money management. By integrating our family banking and financial literacy app with a personalised pre-paid debit card, we’re making learning […]

DEWA IPO bodes well for Dubai’s asset sale

A further nine government and state-owned companies are now set to be listed on the DFM Optimism is growing over government plans to monetise state assets following the hugely successful Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) initial public offering (IPO). DEWA debuted on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on April 12 in the UAE’s largest […]

Launch, Rocket, Vehicle

High-growth firms set to fly with $250m “venture debt” boost

Natasha Hannoun, head of debt at SHUAA Capital, tells AGBI why the investor’s alternative capital solution is a game changer for the region’s startup ecosystem Fintech is the number one target for SHUAA Venture Partners, a new $250 million (AED 918 million) Shari’ah fund, focused on venture debt investments. Other sectors being eyed include healthtech […]

Person, Human, Microphone

Oman’s wealth fund splits assets into two portfolios

The Oman Investment Authority has split its assets into local and foreign portfolios, the state news agency said on Sunday. Abdulsalam al-Murshidi, head of the Omani Investment Authority, said the “Generation Portfolio”, which consists of foreign assets and some local assets in various instruments including public and private markets, in addition to realestate, aims at […]

Citi to sell Bahrain consumer business

Citigroup Inc agreed to sell its consumer banking business in Bahrain to Ahli United Bank (AUB) for an undisclosed sum, the US bank said, as it exits retail operations in 13 markets across the globe. The deal includes Citi’s retail banking, credit card and unsecured lending businesses in Bahrain but excludes institutional businesses. Citi said […]

Landscape, Outdoors, Nature

Egypt’s urban inflation accelerates to 10.5%

Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation accelerated in March to 10.5 percent, its highest in nearly three years and faster than analysts had expected, data from the state statistics agency CAPMAS showed on Sunday. The inflation figure, up from 8.8 percent in February, was greater than a median forecast of 10 percent in a Reuters […]

Egypt gets Gulf aid as eyes turn to currency flexibility

The central bank allowed Egypt’s pound, which had been stable since November 2020, to drop by 14 percent against the dollar on March 21 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted investors to withdraw billions of dollars from Egyptian treasury markets. Last week Saudi Arabia said it had deposited $5 billion with Egypt’s central bank and […]

UAE’s Aldar Properties reports 26.5% Q1 jump

UAE-based developer Aldar Properties on Wednesday reported a 26.5 percent increase in first-quarter profit driven by record quarterly sales and the inclusion of the financial results of Egypt developer SODIC, in which it co-owns a majority share. The company made AED 688 million ($187 million) in the quarter, up from 544 million a year earlier, […]

  • Analysis

Russia-Ukraine fallout puts fragile ‘frontier’ economies in MENA at risk

The fallout of the Russia-Ukraine war has just helped tip two of world’s poorest countries, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, into full-blown crises, and the list of those at risk – and the queue at the International Monetary Fund’s door – will only get longer from here. Countries such as Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt are at […]

  • Analysis

In Syria, business hub hopes to drive recovery from war

In an industrial zone in northern Syria’s rebel-held city of Al-Bab, Abu Omar al-Shihabi’s smelter churns out iron bars he says can compete with any produced in Syria and beyond. The industrial zone is an unlikely business hub. It is located on the edge of a city which was once occupied by Islamic State and […]

Afghan economy ‘dire’ as household incomes shrink

The outlook for Afghanistan’s economy is dire with per capita income having fallen by over a third in the last four months of 2021 after the Islamist Taliban seizedpower and foreign forces withdrew, the World Bank said. “One of the poorest countries in the world has become much poorer,” said Tobias Haque, World Bank senior […]

Shopify’s revenue growth slowest in seven years, shares plunge

Canada’s Shopify Inc reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since going public in 2015 and delivered a big miss on profit, sending the company’s U.S.-listed shares tumbling 17 percent on Thursday. Easing global e-commerce growth from the frenetic pace seen during the peak of the pandemic has hit Shopify, which provides merchants tools and service […]

UAE top lender FAB posts record profit

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender, reported on Thursday its highest ever quarterly net profit, helped by the sale of a majority stake in its payments business. The UAE banking sector is improving on the back of a further easing in COVID-19-related restrictions and a rebound in oil prices, boosting […]

Tie, Accessories, Accessory

Turkey, Saudi to revive great economic potential, Erdogan says

Turkey and Saudi Arabia have a common will to “reactivate a great economic potential” between the two countries, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, after his first trip to the kingdom since 2017. Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Saudi Arabia, where he sought to mend frayed ties, Erdogan said the sides […]

Pearson maintains momentum after rejecting takeover

Pearson beat first-quarter forecasts and said it would benefit from a lowertax rate this year, underscoring confidence at the education group after it rejected a private equity offer in March. The British company, emerging from years of turbulence sparked by the US education market moving online, reported a better-than-expected 7 percent rise in first-quarter underlying […]

Turkey hikes gas prices, as inflation tops 60% in March

Turkish state-owned energy importer BOTAS said it had raised natural gas prices for industrial facilities by 50 percent and those for households by 35 percent, raising the prospect of further stoking inflation, which is expected to top 60 percent in March. BOTAS also said natural gas prices for electricity production were going up by 44.3 […]

Al Rajhi Bank reports 24% rise in Q1 profit

Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s second-biggest lender, reported a nearly 24 percent rise in quarterly earnings, fuelled by a jump in net financing for customers, and higher investment income and fees from banking services. The bank reported a net profit of SR 4.1 billion ($1.09 billion) for first quarter ended March 31, up SR 3.34 billion in the […]

Tunisia’s dinar hits record low versus dollar

Tunisia’s dinar currency has fallen to record lows versus the dollar, driven down by high inflation, a worsening trade deficit and the severe impact of the Ukraine crisis on public finances. It traded at 3.074 against the dollar on Thursday, central bank data showed on Friday. Earlier this month, the state statistics institute said Tunisia’s […]

Airplane, Aircraft, Vehicle

Qatar Airways suffers setback in feud with Airbus

A British judge has denied a bid by Qatar Airways to reinstate a jet contractcancelled by Europe’s Airbus in the latest twist to a dramatic feud playing out in UK courts. The companies have been locked in a safety dispute for months on Europe’s A350 long-haul jet. Their unprecedented bust-up widened in January when Airbus revoked a separate deal for […]