Aramco is quite simply unaffected by the Kingdom’s political and economic shortcomings. The company’s strategic importance insulates it from the power plays that serve to threaten most quasi political bodies, arguing the case that institutional independence can exist in the Saudi setting. Of course, its biggest test may yet come in the form of an emboldened Crown Prince.
Egypt’s military is known for its economic prowess, crafting arguably a strong business reputation for itself. There are indications suggesting that its commercial portfolio extends to the agriculture sector, where a host of known interests may position it as a key industry player.
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With several of the region’s strategic sectors gearing up to ‘welcome’ private actors into the fold, international investors are bracing for renewed levels of access to old economies. As opportunities begin to present themselves, however, a host of hidden domestic dynamics will become more important than they have ever been.
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.
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.
Iran’s bazaari’s represent a long-standing way in which commerce is organised. Given their enduring influence, it is important to understand the societal and political caveats that make bazaari’s more than market traders. Although not initially obvious to the foreign investor, these should firmly be on the political risk radar.
After the military seized the state, there is a strategy of protectionism for military patronage – highlighted in the case of it undermining Arabtec’s housing plan
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Egypt shows little sign of improvement for 2016. Its political and social status quo has been built on layers of patronage networks; the challenge for predicting economic and political opportunity in Egypt comes from assessing how these informal networks are being reconfigured.