Interpreting Middle East Economic News and Analyzing Market Trends

Category: UAE

Junk sukuk – the next trend in Islamic finance… and Kuwait looks to launch derivatives to pump up market

Sukuk Trading

What’s the best way to increase trading volume in stale markets?  Launch exotic new products to entice new investors.  The UAE is looking to launch high-yielding (a.k.a. junk) sukuk as it pushes to become the global hub for Islamic finance and Kuwait is eying the derivatives markets.


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Indian Prime Minister vows not to impose capital controls then imposes capital controls

Indian Central Bank

Source: Live Mint


Since the rapid fall of the Indian Rupee, which has fallen nearly 20% against the US dollar this year, the Indian government and Central Bank have been struggling to stop the slide.  Their attempts have had some success so far, but it looks like they are resorting to capital controls going against previous promises not to do so.


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Middle East high tech startups take off



The Middle East has been a hotspot for tech start-ups lately.  This growing trend has been overshadowed by all the bad news coming out of the region since 2011.  Don’t expect any competition to Silicon Valley any time soon, but entrepreneurship is catching on in the Middle East in a big way.  Political troubles are only adding more fuel to the trend.


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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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