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Middle East

GCC CFOs, Treasurers Focus on ESG Frameworks and Data in Sustainability Pivot

Middle Eastern economies are well-known for their overreliance on hydrocarbons and a high concentration of family-owned, often opaquely run, businesses. However, as the volume of debt issuance surrounding ESG and sustainability becomes amplified, attention is beginning to be placed on how to navigate a rapidly evolving business and funding environment. In an exclusive roundtable discussion hosted…

10 Dec 2019

SRC CEO on Balancing Funding, Increasing Home Ownership, and Avoiding Western-Style Hubris

The Saudi government has set itself the ambitious task of turning roughly 70% of the population into homeowners, leading to a rapid step-up in mortgage provision and bolstering the need for balance sheet solutions required to keep the all-important liquidity wheel turning. That’s where Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) comes into the picture. We speak with Fabrice Susini, the CEO of SRC,…

4 Dec 2019

The Contradiction at the Heart of the Aramco IPO

The Saudi government does not see a viable, long-term future in oil and gas but continues to hope that investors will measure the country's crown jewel, Saudi Aramco, differently, argues Robert Mogielnicki of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

29 Nov 2019

Azizi Developments CFO Sees UAE Property Market Recovery in 2020

The UAE property market has made headlines throughout 2018 and 2019 – but largely for the wrong reasons, with oversupply and subdued demand straining balance sheets against the backdrop of sluggish economic growth. But not all property developers seem downbeat about the sector’s prospects. Fresh off securing the company’s debut credit rating, Mika Toivola, CFO, of Azizi Developments, a…

13 Nov 2019

GEMS Education CFO on Scaling the Multijurisdictional Treasury, Funding, and New Opportunities

An exclusive Bonds & Loans interview Ed Senior, acting CFO of GEMS Education, on the company's recent bond placement, acquisition of Ma’arif Education Group and key focus areas for 2020.

7 Nov 2019

UAE Reforms May Lead to an Identity Crisis Amongst Free Zones

With various emirates looking to make themselves more competitive, drive local employment and revive stagnating sectors, UAE authorities have through a series of new laws tried to make it easier for businesses to integrate into the local economy and secure more foreign investment. The moves, however, raise difficult questions about the country’s reliance on free zones, and the future of the UAE…

22 Oct 2019

Assessing Saudi Arabia’s Investment Landscape: What Investors Really Think

Saudi Arabia’s economic prospects are on a positive trajectory, but a number of leading investors are of the view that the market is missing the mark when it comes appraising the Kingdom’s ability to achieve its fiscal consolidation objectives or tackle emerging headwinds. Whilst significant reforms have opened the country to greater FDI and boosted investor confidence, concerns regarding the…

16 Oct 2019

On the Ground and Off the Record: GCC’s Credit Markets Brace for Global Macro Headwinds

Despite the challenges posed by falling revenues that have become endemic to oil-dependent Middle East economies as of late, the region’s finance markets have seen 2019 as a largely positive year. But the outlook is far less certain in 2020, according to a number of regional and international investors, bankers, advisors and corporate chiefs who spoke with Bonds & Loans on a recent research trip…

11 Oct 2019

SWOT Analysis: GCC Credit Markets in 60 Seconds

Bonds & Loans examines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats across the GCC following a research trip to the region.

3 Oct 2019

Bahrain’s Mumtalakat CEO Eyes Global Investments with Positive Real Economic Impact

Known for a wide range of high-profile investments into companies like automotive heavyweight McLaren Group and metals giant Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), Mumtalakat – Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund – is doubling down on its search for investment opportunities that have a lasting positive impact on the real economy. Several months after it issued a debut sukuk and ahead of its 15-year anniversary,…

4 Sep 2019

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