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Issue 21 May / June 2013

Letter from the editorial director

Dear Reader, When speakers such as a former US Treasury Secretary, a past French President and the Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE agree to speak at your event, you know that you are doing something right. Such was the case at the 2013 Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF), the fifth annual occasion of its kind, hosted by ... Read More »

Asia to remain ‘best customer’ for MENA

The greatest demand for MENA exports is going to continue to come from Asia, according to HSBC Commercial Banking’s Trade Forecast. Tim Reid, regional head of commercial banking for HSBC Middle East and North Africa, said, “Looking at the latest data, we see two key themes emerging at a regional level. First, Asia continues to be of increasing importance in ... Read More »

Transaction banking comes out top

Transaction banking has outperformed investment and commercial banking in terms of revenue growth in the post-financial crisis period. To better position themselves for success, 82 per cent of banks that took part in a survey have reorganised their transaction banking operations in the past three years—43 per cent in 2012 alone. Transaction banking is a growth area for banks, with ... Read More »

FACTA: a solution

Offered as a standalone installation or as an add-on-feature to the normal en.SafeWatch Profiling solution by EastNets, the en.SafeWatch FATCA is also being developed to meet other countries’ taxation laws in the future aside from supporting tax evasion regulations in the US. Hazem Mulhim, CEO EastNets, said, “The en.SafeWatch FATCA has been developed to provide a practical and easy-to-use solution ... Read More »

Treasurers look on the bright side

Current issues facing treasury and other finance professionals in the MENA region were discussed at EuroFinance’s 11th annual conference on Trade, Treasury and Cash Management in the Middle East, held in Dubai. Among key findings reported were the following: Treasury and finance professionals in the Middle East are very confident about the prospects for their business over the coming year. ... Read More »

Electronic payments worth $18bn

Growth in the use of electronic payment products, such as credit and debit cards, added approximately $18bn to economies in the Middle East and Africa [MEA] region, according to a study conducted for Visa by Moody’s Analytics, a leading independent provider of economic forecasting. A study of 56 countries, including the MEA region, that represent 93 per cent of global ... Read More »

Thursby is new NBAD chief

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has appointed Alex Thursby as group chief executive with effect from 1 July in succession to Michael Tomalin, who is retiring. Thursby is currently CEO of the international and institutional banking division of ANZ. Over the past five years he has been responsible for devising and executing the strategy for ANZ’s significant growth ... Read More »

CFOs hear of ‘challenges and opportunities’

The MECA Regional CFO Conference held in Dubai this year was organised around the theme “Enterprise Performance Management in the Middle East – Challenges and Opportunities” and attracted a number of prominent speakers. This by-invite only event is expected to draw 200+ CFOs and Senior Finance Executives from diverse industries in UAE, KSA and other Gulf countries. The Middle East ... Read More »

Growing demand for distributor finance

Large corporates are showing increasing demand for distributor finance (DF) programmes to enable downstream business in international supply chains, especially in emerging markets. In parallel, global banks are confirming their growing interest in offering DF solutions to their clients. These are the findings of Demica’s latest qualitative research on the distributor finance market, conducted amongst a sample of international enterprises ... Read More »

Supply chain finance: huge opportunities in MENA

As economies in the Middle East continue to grow and diversify, supply chain finance can provide a crucial source of funding while delivering benefits for both buyers and sellers, explains FARAZ HAIDER, managing director, trade head, Middle East and Pakistan, for Citi The Middle East’s economic prospects are impressive – especially compared to the weak growth being experienced in much ... Read More »

QNB grows its trade portfolio

Committed trade financiers in the GCC were rewarded by their customers in 2012. But what will they be doing for their clients in 2013 to return that loyalty? CAROLINE MAGINN looks at the answer to that question Many banks, around the region, reflected growth in their trade finance business in 2012. For example, Arab National Bank and Bank Bilad in ... Read More »

‘Abu Dhabi: the emirate of opportunity for all investors’

The 2013 Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF), the fifth annual event of its kind, continued with its reputation as the region’s unrivalled platform for discussing and debating the globe’s most pressing and critical issues Keynote speakers such as H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; and H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, ... Read More »

Welcome for the new ‘paper chase’

MUSHTAK PARKER looks at a bid to help financial institutions manage short-term liquidity and ‘to park their capital reserves requirements on a Shariah-compliant basis’ The imminent issuance of a multi-million lira sovereign domestic Sukuk issuance by Turkey’s Under-Secretariat of the Treasury and the actual issuance of a QR1bn domestic Sukuk in March by the Central Bank of Qatar (CBQ) mark ... Read More »

Trade finance: new opportunity for MENA

Gulf banks are well placed to step into the trade financing gap left by the retreat of some major international names. PAUL MELLY explains Trade finance – historically low risk and often secured against goods of proven market value, a useful source of fees in sluggish times and a chance to gain from growth as soon as activity does pick ... Read More »

Turkey on the rise as finance centre for MENA

Having emerged relatively unscathed from 2008’s global financial crisis, Turkey is now fast becoming a new international finance centre for the Middle East. Here, CIHAT TAKUNYACI discusses the ramifications of the country’s re-emergence as a global player because of its domestic banking sector All eyes are now on Turkey. The country has been growing at above eight per cent for ... Read More »