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Mere survival is not enough: supporters of Sheikh Nasser Mohammed want to see the prime minister give decisive leadership in overcoming family rivals and parliamentary opponents. Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s embattled reformist prime minister, continues to face down conservative

Kuwait
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Amid a flurry of renewed speculation over the health of Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdelaziz – who flew from Jeddah to the United States for medical tests on 23 November – Allegiance Council chairman Prince Mishaal Bin Abdelaziz has begun informal soundings among senior royal family members about the future course of the succession. But the Al-Saud are divided,

Saudi Arabia
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Iraq’s banking sector is looking up as it profits from an upturn in regional trade deals, but local institutions remain under-capitalised, leaving them too weak to play a big role in the large-scale financing deals expected to materialise as reconstruction accelerates. Some consolidation is needed to address this challenge, bankers told GSN.

Iraq
Issue 842 - 05 December 2008

Options weighed for Dolphin refinancing

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Manoeuvrings for refinancing one of the GCC region’s most important energy transfer projects, the Dolphin Energy Ltd (DEL) gas pipeline between Qatar and the UAE, are expected to accelerate in the New Year, although bankers are remaining tight-lipped on details. The Dolphin refinancing will replace some

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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A flurry of diplomatic missions to Algiers during November emphasised the strengthening trade and investment bonds within the Middle East and North Africa region: defence deals were on the agenda.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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What is happening in Ras Al-Khaimah? Five years after he was replaced by his half-brother Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi, former Ras Al-Khaimah crown prince Sheikh Khalid Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi is employing PR companies and YouTube to signal his return to public life, promising a ‘pledge for progress’.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 842 - 05 December 2008

What’s possible in tough market

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No longer a global market leader for trade financiers, Iran has joined Iraq and Syria is in a difficult market for bankers to do business within the GSN area. “For banks, Syria will be the easiest of these three to do, but banking markets are pretty well shut for the rest of the year,

Iran | Iraq | Syria
Issue 842 - 05 December 2008

Syria still in bottom category

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As its cautious economic reform continues, Syria is showing potential for foreign investment, shown by Virgin Megastores and Carrefour’s plans to open in Aleppo in 2009. But declining oil production pulled GDP growth down to 4% in 2007, according to the IMF’s most recent Article IV report. This noted that “private banks appear to be well capitalised”, while credit to public enterprises,

Syria
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King Abdullah: Hosting Sarko, Mishaal Bin Abdelaziz: Bahrain visit, Nawwaf Bin Faisal Bin Fahd: European travels, Abdelaziz Bin Abdullah : Service extended, Khallid Al-Mishari: Marriage

Saudi Arabia
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A pair of deals between the federal government and Kurdistan Regional Government on oil exports and developing the Kirkuk oil field have raised hopes of further strategic compromises, but severe tensions remain between Baghdad and Irbil. Baghdad has agreed to the export of Kurdistan oil via its northern export pipeline within months,

Iraq
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Fujairah Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Sharqi has spoken about his emirate’s crippling electricity shortages, inflation woes and other policy issues (GSN 797/2).

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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While Kuwait’s latest government crisis keeps the headline writers busy (see Politics, below), major oil companies are worrying that their hopes of developing the emirate’s huge reserves seem as elusive as ever. Some IOCs will struggle to make a profit even

Kuwait
Issue 842 - 05 December 2008

Tehran feels weight of sanctions

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Capacity constraints for Iranian transactions are largely due to the standoff between Tehran and Washington, backed by European governments, on the nuclear question, which has cut US-based insurers and underwriters with US-based treaty reinsurance out of the market. Given the European Union’s ‘common position’ of August 2008 – which calls for restraint

Iran
Issue 841 - 21 November 2008

Hamad Bin Jassim, Fahd Bin Jassim

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Hamad Bin Jassim: New York and Cyprus, Fahd Bin Jassim: Qatar safe from turmoil

Qatar
Free

King Abdullah: Reaching out in the United States, CP Sultan: Meets Orange prince, Bahraini King, Princes: Marriages, travel, Princes Adila: Healthcare

Saudi Arabia