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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 ...

Saudi Arabia to host World Economic Forum Middle East Summit

Friday, 24 January 2020

Saudi Arabia will host a World Economic Forum (WEF) “special meeting” on the Middle East in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in April, WEF President Borge Brende announced in Davos. “The next Middle East summit will be held in Saudi Arabia on the 5 and 6 of April this year,” Brende said. In partnership with Saudi Arabia’s G20 Secretariat, the WEF aims to “provide the region’s stakeholders the opportunity to assume a proactive posture,” according to ...

Riyadh to be turned ‘into a megatropolis’: Royal Commission President

Friday, 24 January 2020

Plans have been put in place to turn Saudi Arabia’s capital city Riyadh “into a megatropolis,” the President of The Royal Commission for Riyadh City Fahd al-Rasheed said. The plan calls for an 8 percent growth in population per year, “which means over the next 10 years will are going to be very busy, planning and accommodating for that growth,” al-Rasheed explained. The $27 billion Riyadh metro project is the first stage of the city’s expansion plan. ...

Lebanon’s Gebran Bassil grilled on failures at Davos

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Lebanon’s Gebran Bassil was grilled on his government’s record by fellow panelists at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday. Fellow panelists Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag and CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble challenged Bassil’s former role as electricity minister and the Lebanese government’s continued failures to provide basic goods including electricity. When asked by Gamble what had happened to Bassil’s plan to provide 24-hour electricity, Bassil said that ...

Middle East countries must work as partners to grow: Majid Al Futtaim CEO

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Countries in the Middle East need to work together and “behave as partners and less so as rivals” to secure future economic growth and investment, said Alain Bejjani, CEO of the Dubai-based holding company Majid Al Futtaim Holding Group. “We have a fragmented reality, we have a number of economies that [are] small, each one individually overly regulated,” he added, speaking on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 2020 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. To ...

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