Interpreting Middle East Economic News and Analyzing Market Trends

Archive for October, 2013

Dubai’s first IPO in over four years has no trades, but Al-Hilal Bank’s latest sukuk issue was 12 times oversubscribed



Source: Amilin TV


Bank of London & the Middle East, also known as BLME, listed its shares on Nasdaq Dubai, the Emirate’s second exchange, on October 8th, but had no trading on its first day.  BLME is a six-year old Islamic bank based in London.  This marks Dubai’s first IPO in over four years.  Nasdaq Dubai is the smaller of the two exchanges in the Emirate.  The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) is the primary exchange, which has lately seen its highest trading activity since the financial crisis.  The DFM is up nearly 70% year-to-date on a lot of euphoria, which has spread across all sectors in the UAE, especially real estate and Islamic finance.  The latest sukuk issue to hit the market was 12-times oversubscribed… so what happened to this IPO?


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Gulf countries to ban visas for gays using medical test to ‘detect’ homosexuality

Dubai Airport Immigration


It’s no secret that Gulf countries ban homosexuality and have been known to give jail time for those caught in ‘homosexual’ acts.  Now, however, they are going a step further and will soon ban visas for homosexuals and transgender individuals based on a medical test to ‘detect’ them.  This story will surely go down as one of those ‘what were they thinking?!’ stories.


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Shell CEO calls shale revolution ‘hype’ and writes off $2.1 billion as shale ‘revolution’ spreads to North Africa

Global Shale Gas 2012

Source: Reuters

If one of the world’s largest energy producers considers exiting a business and calls it ‘hype,’ we should consider looking into the reasons.  Some would argue that Shell got into the US shale business late, thus overpaying for assets.  We reported earlier on the shale revolution here and explained why it’s hyped up, mainly from Wall Street firms looking to cash-in on a trend.

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