Eagle Capital’s CEO is in close proximity to some of Egypt’s most influential decision makers. After a brief spell in government that ended in 2017, the extent of her pursuits became unknown; she is now emerging as a key executive in the media sphere, with elites heavily invested in her dealings.
Evidence points to a shift in the landscape of Saudi Arabia’s defence sector. Traditional arteries of state prestige are no longer what they once were, as the new elite continue to consolidate their grip over state institutions. The establishment of a military holding looks set to ‘corporatize’ defence contracts in favour of Riyadh’s new power players.
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.
The UAE’s method of resource distribution is undergoing a period of rigorous testing, raising questions about its long term economic health. The Khalifa Fund was set up to nurture the private sector and may be the lifeline local entrepreneurs need; Shadow Governance inspects the Fund’s effect as well as those behind it.
Adorning the billboards around construction sites in Saudi Arabia is the Bin Laden family name. However, fame and fortune have not protected the company from Riyadh’s watchful gaze; the Crown Prince’s team are determined to reform the company and may be willing to usurp it if necessary.
Recent trends suggest that Saudi Arabia’s construction sector is undergoing substantive change, despite historically being a predictable pillar of the national economy. Combined with the Crown Prince’s ‘build it and they will come’ attitude, space is clearly opening up for new actors.
A relatively new member of Cairo’s business elite, Ahmed Abou Hashima is fast becoming the new face of Egypt’s steel sector. His source of wealth and early ventures helped carve out a reputation for himself, which ultimately attracted the attention of billionaire investors from the Gulf and unprecedented wealth.
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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.
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.
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In a jurisdiction where transparency is largely absent, Egypt’s military is perhaps the biggest beneficiary of opaque dealings. In fact, the military’s private-sector interests muddy Egypt’s investment waters to such an extent that it is thought to have a hand in almost every economic sector. The lay of the land is thus intertwined with the armed forces’ business exploits.
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.
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In Egypt’s opaque and potentially exploitative setting, identifying how influence is exerted is a worthwhile endeavour for understanding how the state functions, and how this impacts investment decisions.
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