Tag Archives: Economy

Financial reality more important than predictions UAE assets under management only 9% of Bahrain's according to DIFC

About a year ago I wrote about the UAE as a financial center and in particular compared it to Singapore. The article states: Let’s go back to Singapore with a GDP of $293 billion and population of 5.5 million versus our GDP of $371 billion and population of 9 million. So not only is their…

Your health depends on a balanced healthcare playing field

It is my opinion that one of the greatest moves to support free market capitalism in the UAE is the cancellation for Abu Dhabi Thiqa insurance beneficiaries of the 20% co-pay for treatment at private healthcare facilities.  The 20% co-pay was introduced in June 2016 and at that time there was discussion on the effect…

Zombie companies can be harmful

The term “zombie company” has recently entered people’s lexicon as the phenomenon manifests itself in China. Yet this issue did not start with China, it is closely linked to the problems faced by Japan that started in the early 90’s, called Japan’s Lost Decade and sometimes the lost two decades, which arrested the development of…

Real alternatives to the game of monopolies in the GCC

As the economy continues to be under contractionary pressure, it is high time we took an in-depth look at one of the major constraints to its growth. As we know, it is entrepreneurs building start-ups that form the foundation of any economy. However, as I have argued before, monopolies stifle entrepreneurship. The greater the number…

Nike’s CSR, Shuaa’s acquisitions, and the Fed’s impact on our economy.

I am once again in New York. The energy of this city is phenomenal. No show, no PR, just execution. One interesting experience is the discussion that people are having with me regarding Nike’s What will they say about you? campaign, which shows a video montage of Muslim women in hijab playing sport. The effect…

Trust but verify: a deeper dive into the UAE’s latest business news

Etisalat’s preliminary 2016 financial statements are available at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Earnings per share for 2016 operations? Dh0.97. Proposed dividends per share? Dh0.80. This gives a payout ratio of 82 per cent. Rationally, your payout ratio is high when you do not believe that there are any opportunities to invest in and so…

A whirlwind tour of Gulf corporate governance …

Corporate governance improves with the inclusion of women on company boards, as reported by the International Finance Corporation. So what happens to corporate governance when a woman is appointed to head a stock exchange? We will soon find out, as Saudi Arabia has just appointed Sarah Al Suhaimi to head its stock exchange. Ms Al…

Venture capital as a substitute for oil in driving economic growth

Venture capital is critical to the future success of not only the UAE but also the GCC. To understand this we first need to understand the historic formula for our success – oil leads to financial capital, which leads to real estate development, which creates social and business communities that attract people. Repeat. Even if…

Venture Capital Lessons from India, Lebanon and Ireland

In a recent article I pointed out the failure points in the UAE’s venture capital ecosystem, in particular the lack of support for entrepreneurs and start-ups. In this article I’d like to review some of the initiatives other countries have launched that could be useful in upgrading our ecosystem. Given the recent visit to India of Sheikh…