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Middle East: Palestine touts bond and equity issuance


Abeer Odeh, CMA, a “complete revision of the legal system”

Abeer Odeh, CMA, a "complete revision of the legal system"

About 4 million people are crammed into the 6,000 square kilometres of the Palestinian Territories. The communities are divided by Israeli-built walls, so mobile phones are as crucial as in remote parts of Africa or Indonesia.

The biggest company in the Palestinian equity market is Paltel, which owns the biggest mobile operator. Chief executive Amar Aker says success in Palestine requires creativity, such as running part of the phone infrastructure from London, because of the difficulty of bringing equipment into the West Bank.

Aker says he has stepped up promotion efforts after the launch last November of the second Palestinian mobile operator, Wataniya (owned by Qatar’s Qtel). IT outsourcing is an attractive sector in Palestine, so Aker is making a push into broadband.

Is there a new willingness among businessmen to downplay the Israeli occupation and political instability, and make money and attract investment nonetheless? This is the idea that Palestine Investment Fund’s Jamal Haddad, an adviser to president Mahmoud Abbas, would like to give Euromoney during a Palestine investor roadshow in London last month.

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