Middle East: Special focus

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In our September edition, Euromoney explores the challenges and opportunities for some of the world’s leading financial institutions in the Middle East, including a special investigation into Iran’s tentative economic and political rehabilitation in the eyes of international markets, Lebanon’s economy, UAE-India ties and Saudi Arabia’s equity-market revolution.

Iran

Iran's pivotal moment

The security crisis brought on by the rise of Islamic State could turn Iran from pariah to much-needed partner to the west. Financial sanctions have hit both Iran’s economy and its banks hard. Inflation is rampant, NPLs are soaring, while banks lack capital. Corporates can’t get the funding they need. Local bank chiefs are itching to open their doors once again to foreign counterparties. If sanctions are lifted, what will the world’s bankers find in Tehran and beyond?


The long business arm of the Iranian state


After the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Shah in 1979 and the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini launched the Islamic Republic that exists today, there were a lot of assets the Shah and his followers had left behind as they fled Iran.


Regional banking strategy


Middle East

Two ways to win the Middle East

Some banks are national powerhouses, building out across the region; others are already regional players, with individual markets creating something greater than the sum of their parts


Lebanon Central Bank Governor interview


Riad Salamé, Banque du Liban

Salamé keeps Lebanon going

The longest-serving central bank governor in the world has seen it all, and even now is keeping the economy growing despite domestic political paralysis and the spillover from Syria


Saudi Arabian equities


Asha Mehta, Acadian Asset Management

Saudi Arabia's big step forward

Its stock market is the biggest in the region, but impenetrable. That is about to change: the local regulator says foreigners will be allowed to invest from next year. That’s a big deal

UAE banking review


UAE

UAE surges through the Middle East storm

The Emirates’ economy has recovered much of the ground it lost in 2008. The country’s banks are taking advantage by growing strongly. Is there a danger of another round of overheating?


UAE/India debate

UAE India debate

UAE/India trade and investment corridor booms

The economic ties between the UAE and India have gone from strength to strength in recent years and are set to deepen further. The UAE not only offers India the promise of investment in its creaking infrastructure, but a compelling investment environment for Indian companies and a staging post for expansion. Conversely, Asia’s third largest economy offers Arab companies growth opportunities


Lebanon debate

Lebanon debate

Lebanon faces up to its severe challenges

Lebanon’s economy was already under pressure before the arrival of countless refugees from Syria. The IMF has flagged up serious problems in the public finances and the country itself recognizes the need for reform in many areas. Nevertheless, a stable political base and strong banking sector offer cause for optimism.