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2015

Letter from the editorial director

Dear Reader, If there is a theme to this issue it is that the future is going to be challenging within the transaction banking space, especially, in one respect, for Gulf banks as they face a quickening in the pace of change. As our Sibos review points out, few industries have been so impacted by the advent of online technology ... Read More »

MENA first in end-to-end electronic transaction for automotive sector

Standard Chartered Bank has successfully completed the first Bank Payment Obligation (BPO) transaction in the automotive industry for Mohammed Naser Al-Sayer and Sons Est. Co., W.L.L. (“Al-Sayer”), one of the largest automotive dealers in the Middle East. The transaction facilitated a shipment of vehicles to Kuwait. Al-Sayer had previously relied on traditional letters of credit for trade settlement and was ... Read More »

Banking heavyweight backs GTDW

The ICC Banking Commission, the rule-making body for the world’s banking industry has, through its regional representatives, announced a partnership with Global Trade Development Week (GTDW). ICC RBC MENA, which is supported by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will be a leading participator in GTDW, the leading global trade facilitation event. H.E. Hamad Buamim, president and CEO, Dubai ... Read More »

The renminbi spreads its influence

Recent SWIFT data shows that the growth in RMB payments is supported by an increasing number of banks. In May 2015, 1,081 financial institutions used the RMB for payments with China and Hong Kong, representing 35 per cent of all institutions exchanging payments with the latter across all currencies. This is a 22 per cent increase in the number of ... Read More »

Backing for ‘safe payments’

The Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG), comprising of businesses engaged in money exchange and remittances, has highlighted its role in the successful widespread implementation of the Wage Protection System (WPS) launched by the UAE government. WPS was put in place to safeguard worker salary payments by channelling them through selected authorised financial institutions and will cover more than four ... Read More »

Treasury transformation

The AW Rostamani group has achieved “operation excellence” by re-engineering its treasury with the assistance of technology, reports SunGard, which has focused on it in a corporate case study.  It says that group treasurer Omar Abu Shaqra has been instrumental in evolving the treasury function from being a small component of the group’s accounting department to being a fully fledged, ... Read More »

UAE banks look to Suez Canal projects

UAE banks are seeking to obtain the largest share in the financing of projects in the Suez Canal region after the opening of the new canal. Sahar El-Damati, deputy managing director and CEO of the risk management sector of the Emirates National Bank of Dubai, asserted that the bank is ready to finance any projects offered for the development of ... Read More »

Business confidence still ebbing in MENA

Business confidence in the Middle East continued to fall in the second quarter of 2015, but not as quickly as it had in the first three months of the year, according to the to the Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) organised by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants). The slight optimism was ... Read More »

Lower oil prices may affect profits

A ‘gradual weakening in economic conditions’ may adversely affect Gulf banks, according to rating agency Standard & Poor. After posting positive results in the past year, Islamic banks in the UAE and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region are likely to see profits slowing down for what remains of this year as the decline in oil revenues ... Read More »

The great fight to control the safe future of finance

One of the greatest duelling pairs in the history of crime fiction were the cerebral detective Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Professor Moriarty. And, in spirit as it were, they might be living on in the digital age as Good and Bad clash for supremacy in the field of cybercrime in the financial services sector. What guards and tripwires can ... Read More »

How treasury copes at the sharp end

The financial challenges that the ‘great recession’ imposed on many organisations pushed treasury teams to the front and centre of corporate enterprise risk management (ERM) initiatives. BOB STARK of Kyriba looks at their aftermath tasks. While the biggest mandate for treasury post-2008 has been to deliver strategic value for the organisation as a whole, the need to establish controls and ... Read More »

The new ‘wells’ of information

DONYA ROSE – chief operating officer UK and Ireland, global transaction banking, Deutsche Bank, explores the concept of Big Data, and how it will be put to use in coming years ” Big Data” – we have all heard the term, but the definition is somewhat nebulous. In truth, this is a decades-old term that has undergone a shift in ... Read More »

Challenge for Gulf banks as pace of change quickens

Cash management and transaction banking will go under the microscope at this year’s Sibos and, says PAUL MELLY, this may leave some MENA banks questioning their operations Few industries have been so impacted by the advent of online technology as cash management and transaction banking – and the pace of change shows little sign of slacking off. This year’s Sibos ... Read More »

Public borrowing boost for Kuwait and the KSA

How things are changing in the capitals of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait… MUSHTAK PARKER explains why The tiresome mantra was: “Oh we do not need to borrow money from the markets, because we are flush with liquidity. We pay everything in cash.”hese are extraordinary times in the corridors of power in Riyadh and Kuwait City. Gone is the exuberance, and ... Read More »

Letter from the editorial director

Dear Reader, The Phoenicians well over a millennium ago were known far and wide as an enterprising, seafaring civilisation never beset by boundaries. And the same applies today with their descendants in Lebanon, as much a global trading hub as it has always been. In this issue, we report on a special BNY Mellon-hosted roundtable at which Cash & Trade ... Read More »