About GSN

GSN is the well-established, Gulf-focused business information portal and political risk consultancy of Cross-border Information (CbI), an internationally recognised business intelligence company with a long established research focus on the politics, energy and financial sector trends of Africa and the Middle East. 


Through its own research and an extensive network of local sources and on-the-ground experience, GSN has become one of the leading providers of political analysis on the region and the best source of accurate information about the business, financial and political affairs of Gulf royals, merchant families and the region’s ruling elites.


Our services

Red Arrow  www.gsn-online.com – the online home of the original Gulf States News (GSN), an established and authoritative source of information on the people, politics and resources of the Gulf region. GSN continually monitors the Gulf to provide timely analysis and subscription-based products that inform a high-level readership of the latest political, defence and security developments and energy and financial sector trends.


A truly independent source

Since its establishment in 1974, GSN has provided independent reporting and analysis of the Gulf region and its ruling elites. Supported by neither governments, wealthy individuals nor institutions, GSN functions on a business model based solely on subscription revenues. GSN doesn't carry advertising or sponsorship (except in occasional, clearly-defined circumstances).

The online GSN archive dates back to 1979 with GSN and Saudi Arabia Newsletter issues for the 1979-2003 period available online for registered users. Full subscribers have access to this earlier archive plus all articles, issues, maps and family trees published from 2004 to the present.

Take a look at subscription options or read some sample articles.


CbI also offers a trusted source of intelligence to a range of clients requesting accurate and timely analysis of political and business developments within the African region.  We have particular expertise in the energy sector, backed by the continual monitoring of the continent’s energy industries through African Energy.

Bespoke consultancy


Clients come to us for our incisive understanding of the politics of the Gulf and wider Middle East region and our intelligent analysis of the issues, events, people and organisations that affect their businesses and interests.

Red Arrow   Reputational due diligence

Red Arrow   Ruling elite monitoring

Red Arrow   Political and succession risk analysis

Red Arrow   Energy supply and demand forecasting

Red Arrow   Market entry studies

Red Arrow   Partner and competitor analysis

Get in touch

Contact John Hamilton to discuss how CbI can help your business in the Gulf.

Email: j.hamilton@cbi-research.com
Tel: +44 (0)1424 721667



“I have been a genuine admirer for many years. I regard GSN as the only one that focuses properly on Arabia and on Saudi Arabia in particular. That alone makes it very special as no country in the region is less understood in the UK than Saudi Arabia.”
Stephen Day, consultant and former British ambassador

 “Gulf States Newsletter provides a fund of information and insights for bankers and investors who are serious about doing business in the Gulf.”
Francis Beddington, Banker and Economist

GSN now really is doing something (and at a quality level) that isn't available anywhere else that I know."
Professor Gerd Nonneman director Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies (IAIS), University of Exeter






  • Jon Marks

    Acting Editor

    Jon is the Chairman and founder of Cross-border Information. He is a political scientist with a deep knowledge of the politics and economies of Africa and the Middle East, based on more than 30 years of travel, study and curiosity about the post-colonial world.

    In addition to his internationally recognised work in policy and corporate circles as an expert analyst on North Africa, Jon takes a lead role in CbI’s business development and strategy and is currently acting editor of GSN (a role he previously held when CbI bought GSN in 2000).

    The founding editor of African Energy, which he set up in 1998 under the banner of the Financial Times’ former FT Energy subsidiary, Jon is author of several books and academic papers on North African history, politics and security, as well as on various aspects of finance and business – notably on issues associated with national energy industries and approaches towards debt.

    A fluent French speaker, Jon carried out doctoral research on Algeria’s Mozabite community at University of London’s School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), which included fieldwork in Algeria. He has a Masters degree in African Government & Politics from the London School of Economics and read politics at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

    Jon is an Associate Fellow of the London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs' (Chatham House) Middle East North Africa Programme.


    T: +44 1424 721667

    E: jon@cbi-publishing.com

  • Eleanor Gillespie

    Senior Analyst

    Eleanor plays a lead role in the development and management of CbI’s special research and due diligence capabilities - particularly the development of local research capacity in the Middle East and Africa - and in the editorial direction of Gulf States Newsletter (GSN).

    She has been instrumental in the expansion of CbI’s coverage and understanding of the Gulf and its ruling and merchant family elites and has undertaken research into Gulf businesses investing in Africa’s energy industries.

    Eleanor grew up in West Africa and the Gulf, and has led CbI’s analysis of political risks in a wide range of countries across Africa and the Middle East, co-ordinating with on the ground sources and liaising with clients.

    She has a Masters degree in Middle East Politics from University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and read International Relations at Leeds University.


    Specialist interests

    Saudi Arabia: Eleanor writes about Saudi Arabia for Gulf States Newsletter and is the author of an extensive report, totalling 25,000 words, into the Al-Saud ruling family, their political connections and business interests. Eleanor also has a particular interest in the domestic political scene and ruling/merchant families of Qatar and Oman.

    GCC: Eleanor’s wider regional research interests include the increasing pressures on resources caused by booming populations, and the complex mechanics of inter-GCC relations – particularly border disputes. She also has a special interest in the business and political relationships that typify Gulf ruling and merchant families.

    Africa: Eleanor handles much of CbI’s Sub-Saharan Africa research and has a special interest in the murkier end of energy investment in Africa, particularly the use of local middlemen and men of business. She is developing her knowledge of anti-corruption and governance development and writes African Energy’s ‘governance and corruption’ section. She is responsible for developing much of CbI's source network used for due diligence reports.


    T: +44 207 839 5982
    E: eleanor@cbi-research.com

  • John Hamilton

    Contributing Editor

    John Hamilton is director of CBI's London office, where he plays a key role in the company’s business development and strategy. He is also a contributing editor for both African Energy and Gulf States News (GSN)

    A specialist in North Africa and Iraqi Kurdistan, John produces regular analyses, detailed monitoring reports and briefings for CbI's private clients.

    He reads, writes and speaks standard Arabic and is also fluent in Bulgarian. His travel memoir of five years spent in Bulgaria entitled The Good Balkans was published by Wild Man Books in 2009.

    T: +44 (0)207 839 5982
    E: j.hamilton@cbi-research.com

  • Mark Ford

    Senior Analyst

    Mark Ford is Managing Director of Cross-border Information with responsibility, along with key colleagues, for the strategic direction and development of the company.

    In an advisory role he works closely with private and public sector clients analysing commercial and political risks for investors in Africa and the Middle East. He reports regularly to clients on political and commercial developments in the Gulf.

    Prior to joining the company Mark worked as a management consultant specialising in business and economic development, providing advice to mainly industrial companies. During this time he worked in several major projects involving businesses breaking into new and wider markets in Africa and the Middle East. Mark also worked with public-sector bodies, NGOs and multi-agency initiatives, generally advising on the role businesses and business development initiatives should play in social and economic development strategies.

    Mark learnt entrepreneurship at the relatively early age of 23, establishing a business group involved in retailing, training and international trading. He holds an MBA (Distinction) from Birmingham City University.


    Special Interests

    UAE: Over the last ten years, Mark has spent a considerable amount of time researching the politics and business dynamics of the UAE and has met with many prominent business and political figures in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

    Corporate analysis: Mark has been called on to examine the performance and strength of several companies – including government related entities – in the Middle East and Africa and has produced accurate assessments of their audited and management accounts, business models, overall performance, management abilities and organisational cultures.

    Nigeria: One of Mark’s current projects is focused on deepening Cross-border Information’s coverage and network of contacts in Nigeria. This work has included meeting with leading business and political figures in Lagos and Abuja.


    T: +44 (0)1424 721 1667
    E: mark@cbi-research.com

Bahrain's Economic Performance

read more

Gulf boundaries and hydrocarbons infrastructure

read more

The Gulf region: economy and society

read more

Iraqi Kurdistan hydrocarbons infrastructure map

Revised in January 2015, this map provides a detailed overview of hydrocarbons infrastructure in the Kurdistan area of Iraq.

read more
Register now Buy credit to view GSN articles Search the GSN archive Sign up for GSN News Alerts Request a GSN free trial

GSN View

A mysterious death in Romania points to rivalry for top jobs in Iran

The battle for power and influence in Iran appeared to take a gruesome turn on 19 June, with the as-yet-unexplained death of...

read more

Overhaul of Oman’s economic structure accelerates, so does crisis

Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said’s decision to merge the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) and the Oman Investment Fund...

read more

Iraq needs more help to tackle revived, if fractured, Islamic State

Even since the battle to defeat the Sunni extremists of Islamic State (IS or Daesh) began to make progress, there have been...

read more
Web Design by FDC