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Issue 23 September / October 2013

Letter from the editorial director

Dear Reader, This is a landmark year for MENA in that the world’s premier financial services event is for the first time being staged in the Middle East. The success of Sibos can be seen in a snapshot: a mere 300 people attended its first outing in Brussels but now, 35 years on, some 7000 participants are expected to gather ... Read More »

Global economy looks overcast

Global growth is projected to remain subdued at slightly above three per cent in 2013, the same as in 2012, according to the IMF. This is less than forecast in the April 2013 World Economic Outlook (WEO), driven to a large extent by appreciably weaker domestic demand and slower growth in several key emerging market economies, as well as a ... Read More »

MENA set for a pick-up

Economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa will moderate to 3.1 per cent this year before recovering to 3.7 per cent in 2014, the IMF said in its recent economic outlook for the region. The expected slowdown – which follows growth of 4.7 per cent in 2012 – will be driven by scaled-back oil production in countries exporting ... Read More »

Funds inflow at record level

The MENA region has this year registered its highest inflows over the past five years On an aggregate basis, its markets posted around $2bn of net inflows since the start of this year – also a record level – versus an outflow of  $192m during the same period in 2012. Of the $655m for May, Saudi Arabia led the rally ... Read More »

Qatar aims to become Gulf’s financial hub

Qatar is bidding to become the Gulf region’s financial hub, introducing a new regulatory framework for financial institutions and other initiatives to facilitate growth in the banking sector. The MEED Qatar Banking Summit 2013, backed by Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Financial Market Authority and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, will gather more than 100 senior decision-makers from leading domestic and ... Read More »

Bid for trade boost with Bangladesh

The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, and the Central Bank of Bangladesh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that aims to boost co-operation in promoting trade and investment in Bangladesh. The MOU was signed on behalf of ICIEC by Dr Abdel Rahman El-Tayeb Taha, the chief ... Read More »

Sibos: how SWIFT’s ‘investment’ grew and grew

A mere 300 participants attended the first Sibos. Thirty-five years on, more than 7,000 are expected for the world’s premier financial services event being held for the first time in the Middle East. PAUL MELLY looks at what’s on the agenda. When some 7000 participants gather in Dubai for the 35th edition of Sibos, this will mark a Middle Eastern ... Read More »

A winning Transaction Banking Strategy vision

The Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) aims to retain its lead in transaction banking through looking into the future. Here, Murali Subramanian, Executive Vice President and Head of the Transaction Banking Group, explains its outlook to Cash&Trade Question What are the particular priorities for ADCB and your own development plans? Answer We aim to retain market leadership in the transaction ... Read More »

Women are on the rise in finance

A range of senior positions in banking and treasury in the MENA region are now held by women. PAUL MELLY speaks to some of them Determination, self-confidence and a willingness to defy stereotypes – these are the sort of qualities that take women to the top in finance in the Middle East today. But ability alone is not always enough. ... Read More »

Gulf mega-projects get more ECA backing

MENA expansion now has the increased support of export credit agencies. MELANIE LOVATT reports Export credit agencies (ECAs) have boosted their support for Gulf mega-projects over the last several years. In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, they gained importance as sponsors looked to tap more sources of funding. And with deal size on the up, they look ... Read More »

Trade finance: the key drivers

With trade finance very central to banks’ boardrooms in the region at present and topical globally for a variety of reasons, Cash&Trade is publishing extracts from CMM’s Tajara Monitor research series on the leading countries within the GCC and summarising key drivers in the market current in bankers’ minds, tabling important questions for banks to address with their clients, partners ... Read More »

Is a ‘game changer’ on the way?

MUSHTAK PARKER looks at new developments in the field of Islamic finance It may be another sign of the growing maturity of the Islamic finance industry or complementary competition in a product area that is screaming out for diversification. But all the signs are that the industry’s short-term cross border liquidity management and financing challenge is attracting more takers. On the ... Read More »

Bid to take trust to another level

MENA has a long history of trust in both personal and business dealings. ALEXANDER R. MALAKET, president of OPUS Advisory Services International Inc., looks at how it operates in the field of transaction banking Trust is fundamentally important in high-context cultures, and it is axiomatic that the MENA region has long reflected this reality in both personal and commercial dealings. ... Read More »