Interpreting Middle East Economic News and Analyzing Market Trends

Archive for March, 2014

Here’s the real reason why Turkey blocked Youtube

On March 20, 2014, Turkey blocked access to Twitter to cover up alleged recordings of Erdogan and his son during a corruption investigation.  However, the big news came yesterday as Turkey started blocking Youtube.  CNN, BBC and most other media only brushed on the reason for the blocking saying it was a “discussion of possible military operations in Syria.”  Here is the real reason:

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Meet Egypt’s next dictator: Abdel Fattah El-Sisi



Photo source:

Meet Egypt’s future dictator, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in the photo above, he’s the one on the left.  The one on the right is the former democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi.  Morsi is now in jail.

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Qatar Islamic Bank looks to acquire stake in Turkey’s Bank Asya

Bank Asya

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Qatar’s largest Islamic bank, is in discussions to buy a stake in Bank Asya, Turkey’s largest participation bank (a.k.a. Islamic bank).  This is the second Qatari bank to jump in to Turkey in the past year.  Last March, Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) acquired a 70.8% stake in Alternatifbank AS.  QIB’s timing, however, might prove to be better than CBQ’s.

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Bank of England is looking to enhance its appeal to Islamic banks


Bank of England

Photo source: The Economist

The Bank of England is planning on stepping up its liquidity offerings for Islamic banks amidst growing competition from Kuala Lumpur and Dubai, both of which are commited to becoming global Islamic banking centers.  London is still the defacto global Islamic banking center due to the sheer volume of Islamic banking transactions that flow through it.  However, new contenders are starting to slice away at London’s pie.

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Former CEO of bailed out Spanish bank becomes new CEO of Kuwait’s Gulf Bank


Novagalicia Banco Cesar Gonzalez

Fomer CEO of Novagalicia, César González (left) and president, José María Castellano (right) Source: La Vanguardia

Kuwait’s Gulf Bank announced that is has hired Cesar Gonzalez-Bueno to be its new CEO.  Mr. Gonzalez was the former CEO of bailed out Spanish bank, Novagalicia Banco.  Gulf Bank was also bailed out back in 2009 after derivative losses stemming from the financial crisis.

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