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Issue 07 January / February 2011

Future rests on new solutions and services

Speed and getting ahead of the game are vital to ward off competition in the fast-moving cash management field in Saudi Arabia. PAUL MELLY reports One of the largest economies in the Middle East, the world’s top oil producer and an emergent industrial power, Saudi Arabia is an increasingly sophisticated financial market. As competition intensifies with a steady growth in ... Read More »

How to put more shine on your business

The second and final part of the WILL SPINNEY feature on ratio analsis The first part of this feature covered such key ratios as return on capital employed, operating profit margin and return on equity, as well as a variety of liquidity and solvency performance measures. This time around, we’re looking at the gearing/ leverage ratio and interest cover, as ... Read More »

Citi expands to help Middle East corporates

Th e Middle East has experienced a rapid transformation over the last few years, and corporates are now looking for a range of innovative transaction banking products and services from their banks as well as support to grow their businesses – both locally and internationally. Steve Donovan, Middle East and Pakistan head of global transaction services, Citi, together with his ... Read More »

Industry looks into a ‘mixed future’

Global recovery is not just about economic fundamentals – it is also about regaining confidence. MUSHTAK PARKER feels a number of pulses While the past year has seen a rebound of sorts for the global Islamic finance industry, prospects for 2011 are at best mixed with the consolidation of the recovery especially of the Sukuk market and core business lines, ... Read More »

Banks set to help clients combat cash crisis

The recent global crisis has had major supply chain implications for both large regional, and multinational, trading companies active in the Middle East, as well as major manufacturers. LIZ SALECKA gets the bankers’ perspective Greater currency fluctuations have become a concern to large exporters of oil and oil-related products as well as commodities such as steel. Trading companies importing large ... Read More »

Liquidity dominates risk concerns

In 2010, the gtnews Treasury Risk survey tracked the challenges that corporates faced in mitigating risk and popular risk management methods. Th e results showed that concerns over liquidity remained high on the corporate agenda. Six hundred and one corporates took part in the research, providing a comprehensive set of results. Respondents came from a cross-section of companies and sizes. ... Read More »

Award for NCB

The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has won the J P Morgan Elite Award for efficient treasury operators for the years 2009 and 2010. J P Morgan explained that NCB was chosen “for its outstanding efficiency during those two years for its Straight Through Processing (STP) operation by scoring above 99.7 per cent for all treasury payment transactions processed through J ... Read More »

New trade finance portal

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has launched ProTrade, its online trade finance platform, allowing customers to manage their trade transactions from anywhere at any time. The new portal, part of ADCB’s EasyTrade suite of products and services, has been designed to enhance customers’ businesses with a norestriction system enabling importers and exporters to pay and get paid for the goods ... Read More »

New faces at Falcon

Falcon, an independent trade services specialist, has appointed two new business development managers in Dubai as part of the firm’s expansion in the Middle East region. Mohammed Shafi joins from HSBC Middle East, where he was director for its corporate banking division, and Fadel Altaher was previously senior relationship manager at Commercial Bank International in Dubai. Headquartered in Dubai, Falcon Trade ... Read More »

Electronic cheque clearing in Oman

The Central Bank of Oman completed its electronic cheque-clearing programme (ECC) all over the Sultanate as of January this year. Executive president hamoud bin Sangour al Zadjali said, “This important project is a milestone in establishing international standard payment systems infrastructure in the Sultanate.” Hilal bin Ali al Barwani, deputy director of the electronic financial change and settlement project committee, ... Read More »

UAE banking tie-up

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA Merrill) have formed a relationship in the UAE. It allows the latter’s clients requiring services in the region access to the capabilities provided by ADCB and for ADCB clients to access BofA Merrill’s global network of corporate banking and cash management capabilities. Ala’a Eraiqat, chief executive officer and ... Read More »

FDI rise benefits emerging markets

Global foreign direct investment (FDI) inf lows were only slightly higher in 2010 than in recessionhit 2009, according to estimates from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Growth in FDI inflows to emerging markets – by an estimated 14 per cent – offset another decline in flows to the developed world of an estimated seven per cent. Global FDI inflows are ... Read More »

New partnership to attract business to Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) – a major provider of investment opportunities and one-stop solutions in its free zones, industrial parks and offshore facilities – has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with HSBC, which will open a complete range of banking and financial services to companies operating in the emirate. Dr Khater Massaad, CEO, RAKIA, said, “This is ... Read More »

Treasury trends for 2011

Centralisation and standardisation as well as simplification and automation – these are the focus areas for an efficient treasury process, according to Judith van Paassen, partner at Zanders Treasury and Finance Solutions, reported in a journal published by OpusCapita. She believes that the key drivers for treasuries are to reduce cost, create value, reduce risk and improve control. According to ... Read More »

Better year ahead for GCC corporates

Corporate earnings in the UAE are poised to swing back to growth at 24 per cent in 2011 after declining by an estimated six per cent in 2010, according to the Kuwait Financial Centre. “The resurgence in the corporate sector after two years of dismal performance will be driven by the banking sector as we believe the worst is over ... Read More »