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.
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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.
Like Abu Dhabi, Dubai is home to a cadre of merchant elite families who play prominent roles in the city’s economic and political affairs. Several key family names stand-out for their heightened ability to exert influence in the Emirate, whether commercial of political, and foreign investors would do well to identify these families.
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.
As the capital city and acting treasury for the UAE, Abu Dhabi is perhaps the real source of foreign intrigue in spite of Dubai’s overseas reputation as an investment hub. Besides the ruling Al Nahyan, there are a cadre of influential families that are gateways to obtaining a presence in the local market.
Although a lesser discussed set of bilateral relations, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates are sending signals of enhanced cooperation. Given the UAE’s desire to expand and diversify its economy, established investors should keep one eye on the effects that emerging bilateral agreements may have on their interests.
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As interest gathers in Egypt’s energy sector, ahead of the planned launch of production from its Zohr gas field, important sector dynamics must be considered. Egypt’s political upheavals appear to have left their mark on the Ministry of Petroleum, which is indicative of under-the-surface dealings. Investors should engage but exercise vigilance.
The feed import sector is critical for driving Iran towards food security, giving it heightened political interest. President Rouhani has suggested that the monopoly on this sector, in the hands of the Modalal family, may be broken up. How this episode plays out should be the subject of investor interest.
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The oil sector has long provided revenues to the Kurdish coffers in Iraqi Kurdistan, but this now comes at a cost. This week Shadow Governance will release a report detailing the KRG’s energy sector – its power players, and key operational obstacles, including commercial political exposure, legal ambiguities, political infighting, and security concerns.
The promise of a new capital city 45 km East of Cairo has so far garnered negative headlines, namely for its failure to finalise contracts. Where Gulf and Chinese interest has faltered, the cards suggest the only winner to be domestic patronage.