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Newly empowered Saudi women to help drive growth at Al Rajhi Bank

Female demand for cars to lift loan opportunities, says CEO Saudi women get the right to drive and have more chances to work, increased economic activity among an entire half of the population is an opportunity for banks, the head of one of them said. Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s second largest by assets, has opened 133 female-only branches and …

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Trading places: Dubai’s non-oil trade rises, with China, India and the U.S. it’s biggest partners

Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade grew by 2 percent last year, with China, India, the United States and Saudi Arabia topping a list of the emirate’s biggest trading partners, the Dubai government’s media office said in a press release on Monday. The emirate’s non-oil trade grew by 26 billion dirhams ($7.1 billion) to total 1.302 trillion dirhams in 2017, up from …

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Investment outlook: Gulf’s fixed income market likely to match last year’s highs

Despite higher oil prices, benign funding environment means strong levels of bond issuance are likely to continue. Gulf sukuk and bond issuance could set another annual record this year as government institutions again turn to debt to help meet budget shortfalls, although elevated geopolitical risk and imminent interest rate rises will make borrowing more expensive. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, …

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UAE leads MENA in digitisation: Report

Digitisation continues to take the global economies by storm The UAE is now leading the MENA region with an impressive 16.4 percent in digital penetration, according to a detailed report by Al Masah Capital Limited titled, “Digital Banking – ME Trends”. “Digitisation continues to take the global economies by storm. As a revolution whose uptake in the Middle East and …

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Morocco: BMCE Bank to Launch Latest African Entrepreneurship Award

BMCE Bank of Africa launches the 4th edition of the African Entrepreneurship Award (AEA) on March 12 in Casablanca. Registration remains open until April 30. The AEA initiative supports talented African entrepreneurs who hold promising ideas for to a better world. The past three editions have been dedicated to education and the environment, witnessing the participation of more than 12,000 …

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Egypt encourages savers to invest in shares- exchange head

The chairman of Egypt’s stock exchange has said that it is working on a campaign to increase demand for shares from within the country as well as looking to make it more attractive to international investors. Mohamed Farid told Zawya on the sidelines of a conference held by investment bank EFG Hermes on Monday that alongside efforts to increase the …

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UAE central bank chief: fintech very beneficial to banking sector

Technology underlying crypto-currencies, financial technologies are beneficial to banking sector, UAE central bank governor said. ABU DHABI The technology underlying crypto-currencies and other new financial technologies are really beneficial to the banking sector, United Arab Emirates central bank governor Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri said on Tuesday. Asked at a financial industry conference whether U.S. interest rate rises this year might pressure …

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Chinese firm wins $163mln contract for Damac’s Dubai skyscraper

China State Construction to build tower at Aykon City overlooking Dubai Canal. Damac Properties has announced the award of a 600 million UAE dirham ($163.4 million) contract to build a tower at its Aykon City project on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. The company has chosen China State Construction Engineering Corporation’s Middle East (CSCEC) arm to build the tower overlooking …

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Saudi extends licences for foreign investors for up to five years

Foreign investor licences currently only last for 12 months. By Nada Al Rifai, ZAWYA Saudi Arabia’s General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has extended the licensing period for foreign investors to five years – up from one year at present. A statement sent by SAGIA to Zawya said that the licensing period can also be renewed upon expiry of the five-year period, …

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Ripple effect: Saudi’s crypto experiment can save hundreds of millions, says Moody’s

By: Staff Writer, ZAWYA Saudi Arabia could save itself hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign currency exchange fees if its pilot programme to use blockchain for cross-border payments is rolled out, according to credit ratings agency Moody’s. In a note published on Monday evening, Moody’s said that an agreement last Wednesday between United States-based financial technology (fintech) company Ripple …

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