Interpreting Middle East Economic News and Analyzing Market Trends

Archive for August, 2013

Cyprus goes from bad to worse: Tourists stay away and Russian money heads to the Virgin Islands

Empty beach in cyprus

        

The good news this past week was that the recession in the Eurozone is over.  Click here for the Bloomberg article and here for the New York Times article.  I’m sure the people in Cyprus are relieved… as are the people in Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal.  The reality is that the recession (more like depression) is just beginning in countries like Cyprus.  Tourist arrivals are down, Russian money is moving to the Virgin Islands and capital controls are strangling what’s left of the economy.

 

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Saudi bank deposits hit record, but this may not be a good sign

Saudi Riyal

Saudi bank deposits hit a fresh record in the first quarter this year rising to SR 1.36 trillion ($363 billion) for the first time.  While there is good news in this, it may not be as good as it seems at first.

 

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Using debt to payoff debt: an alarming trend in the UAE

Dubai Airport Credit Card

Source: Airport World

  There has been a lot of good news coming out of Dubai this year beginning with the stampede of people rushing to buy yet-to-be-built apartments.  The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) is up over 60% year-to-date, real estate transactions are up 63% and rents are rising rapidly (albiet faster than wages).  Behind the good news however, there is an alarmning trend in debt…

 

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Another UK bank flip-flops on its Mideast strategy

A man walks out of Barclays Bank in Dubai

Source: Reuters

 

Barclays is the latest UK bank to consider changing its Middle East strategy.  Earlier this year we reported on HSBC’s poor strategy in the Middle East.  This comes as two other UK banks exited the UAE market; Lloyds and RBS.

  

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Egypt’s Sisi says America “turned its back on Egypt,” but maybe he’s the one with his back turned

Egypt's Sisi

Egypt’s photogenic coup leader, Gen. Abdulfattah Al-Sisi, is not pleased with America’s cold shoulder towards him.  I guess he was hoping for a “thank you” note from Barack Obama for getting rid of the Brotherhood.  America is doing the right thing by not slapping the general on the back for ousting an elected president. 

 

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