Business & Management

Regional growth shows promise - IMF

The Kingdon Tower, Saudi Arabia

Economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region will likely reach 4.5 per cent in 2010 and 4.8 per cent in 2011 due to commodity price strength, rising external demand and robust government spending programmes, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its World Economic Outlook report.

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UAE 'a regional powerhouse'

UAE 'a regional powerhouse'

Gulf economies have embarked on a new growth chapter and the UAE remains one of the region’s powerhouses, Nomura, one of the leading global investment banks, said in a latest study.  “Its plentiful hydrocarbon resources and successful diversification drive have combined to create an economy with strong medium-term prospects,” Ann Wyman, Managing Director and Head of Emerging Market Research, Europe, said for the UAE.  “But the economic crisis has hit the country particularly hard, exposing some weaknesses in its rapid non-oil expansion of recent years.”

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Regional clients key to asset growth

ABN Amro Bank N.V., which has moved its Middle East private banking operations to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), hopes to grow its assets under management from regional clients, a senior executive of the bank said recently.

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Privatisation bill approved in Kuwait

Kuwait's parliament gave initial approval to a much-delayed privatisation bill allowing the sale of some state-owned entities, including some downstream assets in the country's energy sector. Kuwait's oil and gas fields are off-limits to foreign investment and would remain so, the country's Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah said. It was unclear which assets may be up for privatisation. Several lawmakers opposed the inclusion of any energy assets in the bill, which they say should remain under the government's control to avoid corruption.

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Bahrain ‘a key economic player’

Bahrain has emerged as a globally competitive economy, said American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain president Adel Al Safar. He was speaking as an AmCham Bahrain delegation wrapped up a business development mission organised by the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) in Washington. The delegation took part in activities in support of US-Bahrain trade and investment and a reception hosted by Bahrain's Ambassador to the US Huda Nonoo.

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