Investors are increasingly interested in the power players in Saudi’s banking sector. With limited space for foreign actors, it is key to understand who already has a presence and what the current dynamics may mean for the future of banking as the Kingdom’s economy undergoes a period of marked transformation.
Iran’s telecommunications industry is full of opportunity, but remains one that must be considered alongside the political and economic barriers facing the country as a whole. Investors must familiarise themselves with the sector proclivities, namely by gaining familiarity of its key players, and being aware of the informal trading that continues to blight the sector’s legitimacy.
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As an attempt to draw upon the populist political platform erected by Abdel Fatah El Sisi in 2014, the Tahya Misr Fund was set up to breathe life into a faltering economy. Three years on, questions remain about its raison d’etre of Tahya Misr as well as those who stands to benefit most from it.
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European investments in Iran are following a tentative course, primarily due to political uncertainty from across the pond. Should the issue of the nuclear deal finally be put to bed in Washington, this may trigger widespread investment. However, President Trump’s hawkish administration could still throw a spanner in the works.
Peeling back the outer layers of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation is the most effective way for investors to assess its overall integrity levels. Forced resignations, bribery, and political instability cast doubt as to how trustworthy the centralised control over Egypt’s agribusiness is in reality.
Sources indicate that the aviation industry in Saudi is set to fly high. With a swathe of deals already under its belt, the space for investment in the Kingdom’s airports are well and truly opening up. In line with the broader reforms being implemented domestically, the aviation sector may undergo a boom in the medium-to-long term.
Summary: Among Egypt’s less explored commercial opportunities are those that lie in the technology sector. A work in progress, the Suez region has been chosen to play host to Egypt’s ‘Technology Valley’ in the hope that tech companies and ICT services will support the domestic shipping industry and contribute to the wider economy. The balance between opportunity and risk merits attention.
Reforming Iran’s decades-old banking laws is of the utmost priority for the new Rouhani administration. More than 18 months after ‘Implementation Day’ of the nuclear agreement, and despite positive developments in terms of GDP growth, Iran’s fledging banking sector remains a major hurdle preventing the economy from realising its potential.
Sources suggests that Egypt’s ‘deep state’ is lobbying to improve its reputation in the United States. By agreeing contracts with various PR firms, the mukhabarat is now assuming a role that was once upon a time the remit of official state institutions. This highlights the bloated role Egypt’s intelligence community now plays, which may have profound implications on the economic and investment prospects.
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Island based development projects are growing increasingly central to the United Arab Emirates’ (“UAE”) domestic investment strategy. Yas island provides a case study in how Mohamed bin Zayed is leveraging his vision and power in Abu Dhabi as well as who the benefactors of resource distribution under the Crown Prince will be going forward.
Jordan’s privatisation success is based on a clear strategy: a strong reformist agenda that is fully supported by the government, the provision of the appropriate procedures for its implementation, and a high degree of transparency through the privatisation process.
As Rouhani presses on with forming his new cabinet in Iran, the composition of his government is worth reviewing. The President will face a number of political battles in Tehran over the next four years and is thus reliant upon those within the cabinet: a team comprised of those he trusts most as well as those who sit at the table as a result of compromises made within the establishment.