Middle East Business News Review – 24 Apr

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A look at today’s important financial news and business updates from the Middle East region:

Dubai govt. direct debt registers significant drop

A Dubai government’s bond prospectus suggested its direct debt dipped 1.6% at the end of March from May last year to AED113.6bn ($31bn). Outstanding government debt, excluding that owed by state-run companies and other liabilities, was 38% of its 2010 nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of AED300.8bn, figures in the government’s bond prospectus obtained by Bloomberg reported. Click here to read more…

Abu Dhabi eyes Middle East financial hub status

Abu Dhabi is all set to foray into Middle East’s financial hub, competing with established hubs like Dubai’s DIFC, Qatar’s QFC and Bahrain’s Financial Harbour. Click here to read more…

Not interested in troubled Indian airlines – Emirates

Dubai’s flag carrier on Tuesday dismissed reports it is interested in buying a stake in India’s troubled aviation sector. Click here to read more…

Saudi Arabia witnessing huge growth in ICT

Saudi Arabia is emerging as one of the fastest growing Information Technology markets in the Middle East and is expected to account for up to 50% of the total Information and Communication Technology (ICT) investments in the GCC during 2010-2012. Click here to read more…

India to buy more LNG from Qatar

India says it would like to increase its import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, Qatar’s English language daily reported on Tuesday. Click here to read more…

Undeterred Indian shipping firms to carry Iranian crude despite hurdles

A top Indian shipping executive, along with other industry sources, said firms will continue to ship Iranian crude despite limited insurance coverage. Click here to read more…

Islamic banking in great demand as Libyans revive war-torn economy

Libya’s interim government said it is introducing a law that will allow the establishment of stand-alone Islamic banks in order to attract cash and rebuild the war-torn economy. Click here to read more…

GCC countries top FDI inflows and outflows in the Arab world

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), total FDI inflows to the Arab countries between 2001 and 2010 stood at USD 284 billion.

The GCC countries gobbled up 58% of the total FDI, amounting to USD 164.72. Saudi Arabia topped the list with USD 154 billion. UAE came second with USD 75 billion and Egypt with USD 53 billion. FDI inflows into North African countries were 28 per cent of the total FDI flow into the Arab world, while other Arab countries registered 14 per cent over the 10-year period.

Arab countries, which experienced high growth during the early years of this millenium due to implementation of various fiscal policies, the FDI inflows into the region reached a record USD 96 billion in 2008 with the GCC gobbling up a major chunk of the funds.

FDI outflows also increased sharply during the 10-year period, thanks to the huge surpluses from oil revenues. The total outbound FDI was USD 169 billion during 2001-2010 and GCC countries contributed a whopping 82 per cent of the total.

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