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Issue 09 May / June 2011

Kuwaiti bankers engage the future

Kuwaiti bankers are among the most astute in the region. That is why they are gearing up in terms of technical capabilities and service standards. PAUL MELLY reports Kuwait Finance is at the heart of Kuwaiti life. The country has been a pioneer in business, developing banks, investment houses and a stock market long before most regional neighbours. Read More »

Global trade bounces back

Global trade f lows rebounded across many regions in 2010, according to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Trade and Finance Global Survey 2011, but high-pricing meant that traders in many low-income countries still faced difficulties accessing affordable trade finance. Read More »

Trade finance: a return to relationship banking

The pressures of the post-crisis environment are signalling a return to a more traditional localised banking model. DOMINIC BROOM managing director and head of market development for BNY Mellon Treasury Services EMEA, discusses how a new approach to localglobal bank partnership can help banks in emerging markets overcome the hurdles presented by this shift . Read More »

Turkey draws closer to MENA

The Turkish economy has now re-aligned itself more closely to the regional markets in the GCC and MENA countries. MUSHTAK PARKER reports in detail on the new outlook Whichever party wins the Turkish general election in June this year, one thing remains certain. Turkey’s participation banking sector will continue its steady progress and, in the process, further consolidate the sector ... Read More »

Letters of credit make a comeback

The current political and economic climate in the Middle East has strengthened the need for letters of credit. LIZ SALECKA reports that they now look set to continue playing a crucial role in domestic, regional and international transactions – despite the global movement towards open account trading. Although about 80 per cent of global trade is now open account-based, approximately ... Read More »

The return of risk

ALEXANDER R. MALAKET, CITP, reviews developments in the MENA region regarding the risk dimension of international trade finance.   Just as trade finance has emerged from the stillreal economic crisis with greater profile, the importance of risk assessment and mitigation have been effectively highlighted by the realities of the crisis. at the same time, political events in MENA and elsewhere ... Read More »

New cash management products

Burgan Bank has announced that it is launching a range of corporate cash management products and services for its corporate banking clients. These include traditional and new commercial banking services. Raed Al Haqhaq, chief banking officer-senior general manager, said, “We are delighted to introduce a wide variety of specialised products and services offering cost-effective end-to-end banking solutions that optimise cash ... Read More »

HSBC cuts Middle Eastern workforce

HSBC plans to lay off up to three per cent of its 12,000-strong workforce in the Middle East and north africa as it seeks to cut costs to improve its competitiveness. “As part of a standard operational review of the business to ensure our competitiveness, we have identified an opportunity to improve efficiency through a small reduction of headcount,” it ... Read More »

Saudi overtures to Korea

an “even higher level” of co-operation between saudi arabia and Korea has been called for by Khalid A. Al-Falih, president and CEO of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company). In addressing the Korean Chamber of Commerce in Seoul, he said he would like to see “strategic Korean Investments in various areas of the Saudi Arabian economy, including energyrelated fields”. In a ... Read More »

Fresh services for corporates

Deutsche Bank is launching trade finance and corporate cash management services out of its branch in the Saudi capital Riyadh. They are focused on servicing the bank’s corporate and institutional clients, and include traditional and new commercial banking services such as international trade finance solutions and cash management, supporting customers at every stage of their business cycles. The bank is ... Read More »

Finance: the future

The future of trade and corporate finance was discussed when the Falcon Group held its second annual Trade & Corporate Finance Forum for the region’s CEOs and CFOs at Dubai’s Atlantis Palm in April. Lord Norman Lamont, former UK Chancellor of the exchequer, was the keynote speaker. Other speakers included Fabio Scacciavillani, Oman Investment Fund’s chief economist, and Daniel Schmand, ... Read More »

Saudi corporates blossom

Strong performance by the petrochemical sector because of higher global prices boosted the combined income of listed companies in saudi arabia by nearly 23 per cent in the fi rst quarter of 2011, according to a saudi investment fi rm. Despite the sharp fall in the profits of some firms, the combined earnings of the more than 120 companies trading ... Read More »

Boost for Bank of Beirut

Bank of Beirut’s net profit for the first quarter of 2011 rose by 1.38 per cent to $20m as compared to the first quarter of 2010, although assets and customer deposits jumped by 26.86 per cent and 36.11 per cent respectively.  Roger Dagher, chief financial officer of Bank of Beirut, said the remarkable growth of assets during the period was ... Read More »

Backing for energy projects

In a move that widens its role as a multilateral development bank, the arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) has signed the accession agreement to the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Master Cooperation agreement (MCA). It is the first arab multilateral development bank to do this. The IFC’s Master Cooperation agreement promotes increased collaboration with international financial institutions to help standardise steps ... Read More »

‘Fastest forex newcomer’ accolade

ADS Securities, the leading Abu Dhabi-based brokerage and trade services provider, was named the “Fastest newcomer” at the Middle East Forex Awards 2011. This recognised the significant volumes and client base that the company had built up in the short time since its start-up. Read More »

More trade support

The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment & export Credit (ICIEC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, and the african Trade Insurance agency (ATI), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that aims to provide greater cooperation to provide re-insurance support for trade transactions and projects that benefit exporters and investors conducting business in common member ... Read More »