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Saudi startup scene heats up in 2019 with 92 pct increase in deals: Report

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

2019 witnessed a significant improvement in the Saudi Arabian startup scene with 71 deals taking place, a 92 percent increase compared to 2018, according to a new report.The Kingdom’s startups also saw a large 35 percent rise in the amount invested to $67 million, headlined by an $8.6 million funding round for education technology platform Noon Academy, and a $6.6 million for food and grocery delivery startup Nana Direct.“In 2020, there will be considerably more money available for ...

Creative financing at play as Lebanese fight to get their dollars out of banks

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

People seeking to get their money out of Lebanon have resorted to trading in property, watches and jewelry to circumvent exchange controls.With tight restrictions on withdrawing cash and even tighter controls on the sale of dollars, some people are accepting big losses just to get hold of hard currency.“I don’t want my dollars in the bank anymore because I don’t trust them. I know I’m losing part of the dollar amount that way but it’s better than losing all of it if ...

International community unlikely to bailout Lebanon: experts

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Lebanon faces further economic disaster and is unlikely to secure international help due to the new government’s links with Hezbollah and inability to enact reforms, experts say. The country, mired in economic crisis, needs $20 – 24 billion in external financing to save the country, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF) report from January 24. The new government, headed by new Prime Minister Hassan Diab, needs to implement crucial reforms to attract foreign ...

Chinese products can still be imported amid coronavirus fears: Customs authority

Monday, 27 January 2020

Fears over the deadly coronavirus originating in China have not impacted the regulations involving imports from the Asian country, the Dubai Customs Authority told Al Arabiya English when asked. There is currently “no problem” importing Chinese goods, a representative said. “Given the custom inspections conducted by both export and import countries, there is no scientific evidence so far that indicates  products imported from China could carry the new coronavirus. It&rsquo ...

RDIF and partners plan to invest ‘several billion dollars’ in Middle East: CEO

Monday, 27 January 2020

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and its partners have “several billion dollars,” that it plans to invest in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia, CEO Kirill Dmitriev told Al Arabiya on the sidelines of the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Dmitriev noted that Saudi Arabia is “one of the most promising economies of the Middle East,” following the successful initial public offering of its state-owned oil company Aramco last year and the ongoing reform ...

Lebanon central bank reassures foreign investors amid financial crisis fears

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Lebanon’s central bank said on Saturday there would be no “haircut” on deposits at banks due to the country’s financial crisis, responding to concerns voiced by a prominent Arab billionaire about risks to foreign investments there. Emirati businessman Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor, founder of the Al Habtoor Group that has two hotels in Beirut, posted a video of himself on his official Twitter account asking Lebanon’s central bank governor if there was any risk to dollar ...

Lebanon’s 2020 budget foresees a surging deficit

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Lebanon’s parliament will vote next week on a 2020 budget that projects a deficit of seven percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the head of parliament’s finance and budget commission said on Friday -- far larger than the 0.6 percent originally planned, as multiple crises batter the country’s finances. Lebanon is suffering from a long-brewing economic crisis, which erupted last year in protests against the ruling elite. A hard-currency crunch led banks to impose informal ...

Libya oil shutdown is a ‘bullet in the head,’ says bank governor

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Libya’s Central Bank Governor Sadiq al-Kabir called on the international community to help end a week-long shutdown of oil ports by eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar, likening the closures to a “bullet in the head.” It is too early to assess the damage from the blockade that’s halted crude exports from the OPEC country and forced the National Oil Corp. to declare a force majeure on supplies, Kabir said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. The shutdown comes ...

Lebanon’s Bank Audi in talks with UAE’s FAB to sell Egyptian unit

Friday, 24 January 2020

Lebanon’s Bank Audi said on Thursday it was in exclusive negotiations with First Abu Dhabi Bank to sell its Egyptian unit in a move aimed at boosting its liquidity and financial resilience. Talks with the United Arab Emirates’ largest bank were still at an early stage, with no definitive agreement reached, it said in a statement, adding it had no current intention to engage in talks to sell any other overseas subsidiary.

Dubai’s largest Islamic bank acquires smaller lender

Friday, 24 January 2020

Dubai Islamic Bank said on Thursday it has completed the acquisition of Noor Bank to consolidate its position as the top Islamic lender in the United Arab Emirates. DIB said in a statement posted on Dubai bourse website the acquisition was carried out through a share swap after securing the necessary approvals from the regulatory authorities. The bank said the move raises its assets to $75 billion, making it one of the biggest Islamic banks in the world, but it remains the fourth largest lender ...

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