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Issue 20 March / April 2013

Letter from the editorial director

Dear Reader, Once not so long ago there was a general fear of technology. Now the fear revolves around getting the right technology, especially where financial systems are concerned. The field has expanded to the point where banks are increasingly concerned about buying what is fit for purpose. In this issue we look at the pressures behind choosing the right ... Read More »

ICC launches regional MENA banking commission

A regional banking commission for MENA has been launched by the ICC. The initiative aims to more effectively coordinate and communicate Banking Commission activities in the MENA region and meet increasing demands for premium trade finance information and up-to-date policy and market intelligence. “Facilitating trade, promoting economic development and enhancing the business environment are shared goals of ICC and the ... Read More »

MENA grows as hub for international finance

SWIFT, the financial messaging provider for more than 10,000 banks, securities institutions and corporate customers in 212 countries and territories, has announced that its business in the Middle East has outperformed the total growth of the business globally by 45 per cent, underpinning the growing importance of the region as a hub for international banking and finance. This marks a ... Read More »

Bid to boost ‘frontier’ trade and investment

Top-level government officials representing more than 80 countries are expected to attend the third Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Congress 2013 in Dubai to define the future economic landscape for frontier and emerging markets. The third edition of AIM, organised by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE ... Read More »

GCC exports top a trillion

For the first time ever, the value of GCC value of exports reached $1 trillion, up from $932bn in 2011, according to Dr Giyas Gökkent, NBAD’s  group chief economist. This was almost double the 2009 level of $526bn and UAE exports accounted for about a third of the total. The value of oil and related exports rose to a new ... Read More »

RBS bolsters MENA team

RBS has reinforced its commitment to the Middle East with two senior appointments within its Middle East and Africa Transaction Services Origination (TSO) business, based in Dubai. Lloyd Caughey has joined RBS as director, TSO. He has more than 20 years experience, predominantly in trade finance sales and international banking management. Before joining RBS, he was in Australia, where he ... Read More »

New mobile banking payments service for corporates

HSBC has enhanced its mobile banking service in a continued commitment to help businesses streamline their banking needs. The new offering will allow customers to initiate payments to existing beneficiaries across the world and adds to the extended suite of mobile solutions the bank already provides for its customers. Commenting on the HSBCnet offer, Natasha Patel, regional head of global ... Read More »

Gulf Economies continue to perform well

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services believes that the Gulf economies remain insulated from economic and political turbulence both in the broader MENA region and globally. This is according to a report entitled The Gulf Economies Are Going Strong, But Structural Issues Still Weigh On The Sovereign Ratings”, published on Ratings Direct on the Global Credit Portal. It says, “We rate ... Read More »

ICIEC backs African exports

The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), have signed a co-operation framework agreement. It will take immediate effect and its aim is to promote Nigeria’s exports by providing credit insurance and reinsurance support to NEXIM help enlarge the scope the country’s ... Read More »

Emerging markets under the microscope

A debate about the future of the rising economic influence of emerging markets, as well as the state of the eurozone and the US economy were on the agenda at the 2013 Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF) as Cash&Trade was going to press. “European fiscal crisis and the US debt continue to be lingering challenges; at the same time, many emerging ... Read More »

First ever virtual conference in MENA

The 2013 Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF) was planned to be available virtually via the state-of-the-art AvayaLiveTM Engage, an interactive system that allows delegates who are unable to attend in person to do so instead through a virtual conferencing programme. This was the first time in MENA that such a programme had been offered. GFMF Virtual World, powered by AvayaLiveTMEngage, ... Read More »

Gulf Finance support for SMEs

Gulf Finance Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of SHUAA Capital and a UAE-based boutique finance company focusing entirely on the needs of SMEs, has commended the UAE’s Cabinet approval of a law pertaining to SMEs. The law stipulated that all institutions, companies and agencies that the government holds a 50 per cent stake in (or more) “shall allocate five per ... Read More »

ICIEC tops the bill yet again

Moody’s Investors Service, one of the leading rating agencies in the world, has confirmed the Aa3 Insurance Financial Strength Rating (IFSR) of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), for the sixth consecutive year. In its report, Moody’s noted that ICIEC’s rating reflects both the stand-alone fundamentals as well as potential support from its shareholders/IDB ... Read More »

MENA: the economic future looks bright

Increased government spending is helping to drive up GDP growth and regional trade. LIZ SALECKA looks at the factors behind the momentum In spite of concerns that a global economic downturn could impact the price of oil, and future levels of spending and investment in the Middle East, these fears have proved unfounded and today the region has a positive ... Read More »

The right way to win customers

The “back-to-basics” mantra that resonates in many financial centres must incorporate a return of personal and business relationships, says ALEXANDER R. MALAKET, CITP, president OPUS Advisory Services International Inc The question of the moment is, “How can financial institutions gain a competitive advantage in transaction banking in a hyper-competitive climate?” Read More »

UAE bank set for fresh frontiers

Faster actions and responses will be part of the future of enhanced cash management in the UAE, and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank will be in the forefront when it comes to introducing new capabilities, as it makes clear in this exclusive Q&A interview Question Please provide an overall perspective on ADCB’s cash management products and solutions – and future offering? ... Read More »