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Middle East transaction banking debate: Providers push new services as region’s economies bounce back

Financial providers are pushing to identify new higher-margin services, while remaining relevant to corporate partners and boosting profitability in a disruptive digital age. Meanwhile, across the Middle East economies, governments want to diversify away from oil and gas, creating opportunities for multinationals, regional banks and export credit agencies.

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• Banks see great value in becoming strategic advisers to corporate partners, rather than remaining transaction processors

• Corporates and banks are putting themselves ahead of the field by being willing to take risks in exchange for higher returns 

• Low oil prices and the UAE’s trailblazing example are pushing Saudi Arabia and others to diversify economically and promote new industries

• Training and retaining talent is the biggest challenge facing leading banks and corporates across the region 

• Banks face increasing demand from corporate clients to act quicker and more efficiently, and to identify tailor-made solutions to problems 

• Non-oil GDP growth is picking up, led by a better business climate and a pick-up in infrastructure investment ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai 

• A 5% sales tax, set for introduction by the UAE in January 2018, is slated to add 1.6%

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