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Issue 839 - 25 October 2008

SWFs to the rescue

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As the crisis spreads, sovereign wealth funds are being called on to help rescue ailing institutions abroad and at home. Many have already done so: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) invested in Citibank last year, followed by the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), which invested $5bn in Citi and Merrill Lynch. Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has invested in

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 839 - 25 October 2008

CORPORATE WATCH

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Dubai Investments (DI), a Dubai Financial Market-listed investment vehicle in which the government has an 11% stake, has acquired a 5% stake in …. Geneva and Riyadh-based investment bank Swicorp has agreed to provide funding to a privately-owned Algerian oil products marketer, Petroser, through its $250m private equity vehicle Intaj Capital.

Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Gulf financial institutions have been exposed to US defaults, but on a relatively small scale. Worst-affected have been Dubai and Bahrain, with Qatar and Saudi Arabia apparently the least-affected. Foreign banks have slowed down their lending dramatically and local banks are having their international credit lines pulled, causing them to freeze inter-bank lending.

Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
Issue 839 - 25 October 2008

QIA remains busy

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Despite the global financial downturn, Qatar Investment Authority remains busy. It led a capital injection of some $8.8bn into Credit Suisse Group. According to The Wall Street Journal, this boosts Qatar’s stake in the Swiss bank to around 10%, from just under 2%.

Qatar
Subscriber

GCC policy-makers are taking decisive steps to shore up confidence, as local markets suffer from global financial meltdown, tumbling oil prices and wavering enthusiasm. In articles below, GSN talks to key GCC and international players about the regional impacts of a global crisis. Troubled institutions can expect support, but US banks

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Egypt’s Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali has been selected as the new chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), which sets the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) political direction and overall policy priorities. The chairmanship lasts for a term of up to three years.

Egypt
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QIA sticks with London real estate but spurns Wall Street

Qatar
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Recent data from the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund shows that Arab stock markets lost some $158bn in September, with the GCC’s bourses taking the brunt of the loss. A new Standard & Poor’s (S&P) report argues that the tightening in liquidity conditions in the UAE is only tangentially related to the global credit crunch and is being driven mainly by a host of country-specific factors.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Iran's use of financial institutions in the GCC and Europe to bypass sanctions remains at the centre of concern for the US Treasury's counter-terrorist financing unit.

Iran
Issue 838 - 11 October 2008

International initiatives

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Iran is being reviewed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global, inter-governmental body that develops counter-terrorist financing (CTF) and anti-money laundering (AML) policies, as a result of what it says is Iran's failure to comply with international standards of AML/CTF.

Iran
Subscriber

The real estate sector has been hit hard by the cut backs in lending but demand for new projects remains strong.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Family business relationships will be key to the growth of Samena Capital, the latest investment company to set up in Bahrain. Bringing together businessmen and former asset managers from the (Indian) Subcontinent, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa (Samena), a new asset management company set up in Bahrain, has attracted particular interest from Omani investors.

Bahrain | Oman
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Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas investment arm is talking tough as it seeks to exponentially increase its already substantial portfolio with acquisitions at home and abroad. International Petroleum Investment Company is showing itself to be a tough negotiator in its talks with Spain’s Banco Santander

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 837 - 27 September 2008

GCC numbers getting bigger, say insurers

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A growing international underwriting presence in Dubai, Qatar and other GCC countries has begun to transform the Middle East insurance market, participants told GSN. Credit crunch jitters are starting to affect the region, but there remains huge potential in several financial sectors, including the Gulf insurance market.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
Free

Turbulent times push everyone to buck up their thinking – and in this respect, Gulf Co-operation Council governments are no different from their international counterparts. Soaring oil revenues may provide Arabian states with a wealth cushion against global volatility; but an economic storm