Free Article
Although referred to as Courts, the Royal Court and Crown Prince Courts in Gulf countries do not belong to the judiciary. Instead, they are offices of the King or Crown Prince which provide advisory services to the political elite. A strong understanding of these informal advisory offices provides insight into the wider dynamics unfolding in traditionally ‘closed’ settings.
With Iran’s government intent on developing its automotive sector, the space for profit and power will undoubtedly open up. That said, a complex set of dynamics already underpins carmakers’ ability to penetrate and subsequently compete in the Iranian automotive sector. With power plays abound, keeping one eye on the outcome is integral to understanding the market.
With private investments set to provide a U.S. $10 billion injection into Egypt’s economy, the in-roads for foreign investors are now opening up. A timely example is Enppi in the country’s energy sector. However, privatisation is a politicised issue and dealing with public stakeholders will be simply unavoidable. Moreover, the post-IPO dynamics in the energy sector may not unfold as expected.
A month after the Saudi King’s landmark visit to Moscow, the courtship between Russia and the Saudis is yet to show signs of a slowdown. While a lot of the discussion revolves around the geopolitical dividends for the Kremlin, the new partnership has more pragmatic business implications for key power players. Shadow Governance looks beyond the headlines to uncover the key Russian benefactors of the new friendship between Moscow and Riyadh.
Free Article
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.
Free Article
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.
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.
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.
Russia and the KRG have enthusiastically announced a new deal for oil exploitation and commercialisation. While, officially, the economic benefits of this deal are being highlighted, their political implications are much more important. This deal remains obscure and politically exposed to the Kurdish power struggle.
With Youssef Chahed ramping up the fight against corruption in Tunisia, many questions are left unasnwered. Chief among them is the Prime Minister’s intentions behind the crackdown and to what end it will be pursued going forward. The fate of the country’s businessmen exposed to the previous regime will also be determined.
Turkey and Qatar have come to the political rescue of each other twice in the space of 12 months; following the failed coup against Erdoğan in July 2016 and now as Tamim Al Thani faces a regional boycott. For investors, the bloated influence of the political sphere on commercial developments must be noted now more than ever.
In Tehran, political forces may soon turn against one another, leaving onlookers to speculate over who will suffer most in the subsequent fall-out. The President and Supreme Leader each wield considerable power in Iran, but Khamenei’s enduring influence may prove too much for the elected executive during the battle for control.