Middle East - All Articles


  • A normal IPO process for Aramco is the perfect approach

    Saudi Aramco released an initial IPO prospectus on Sunday and some, mainly in the mainstream financial press, were outraged that it contained no details on price or deal size. However, a full two week investor education process is a perfectly normal feature of IPOs and the fact that Aramco is doing its deal by the book is a good thing.

    • 12 Nov 2019
  • Islamic Development Bank keeps green sukuks rolling, announcing debut

    Islamic Development Bank has spurred momentum in the green sukuk market, as it announced its debut, a euro deal, in the format this week.

    • 12 Nov 2019
  • ICE sets up shop in Abu Dhabi ahead of Murban futures launch

    Intercontinental Exchange on Monday announced that it will launch a new trading venue in Abu Dhabi to offer futures contracts referencing Murban crude oil.

    • 11 Nov 2019
  • Consolidation frenzy among Gulf banks rages on as Bahrain’s NBB bids for BIsB

    National Bank of Bahrain has made a bid to buy a majority stake in Bahrain Islamic Bank, of which it already owns 29%. The move is the latest in a seemingly endless round of consolidation between Gulf banks, driven by the effort to become more competitive in what many have called an oversaturated banking market.

    • 07 Nov 2019
  • Saudi’s strategic needs may trump $2tr urge for Aramco

    Saudi Arabia is gathering feedback on how investors see the value of its unique oil company, Aramco, through an army of investment banks. It will have to choose between two priorities: pushing for the crown prince's cherished $2tr valuation or the potentially bigger prize of attracting a wide range of international investors, writes Sam Kerr.

    • 06 Nov 2019
  • Sukuk deals flow but Dubai's Averda struggles

    Qatar International Islamic Bank mandated banks on Wednesday for an AT1 sukuk, one day after Masraf al Rayan (MAR), another Qatari Islamic bank, had achieved tight pricing on its senior unsecured offering in the format. But another Middle Eastern deal, in Reg S/144A format, was pulled this week.

    • 06 Nov 2019
  • More misery for Lebanon after Moody’s downgrade

    A bleak situation in Lebanese bond markets deteriorated further on Tuesday when Moody’s cut its rating to Caa2 and kept the sovereign on review for further downgrades.

    • 06 Nov 2019
  • Abu Dhabi targets Murban oil futures

    Abu Dhabi will launch a futures contract for its state-owned oil company’s onshore crude oil product in 2020, after a decision this week by the country's petroleum regulator.

    • 05 Nov 2019
  • Aramco offers high risk, but huge rewards

    The launch of Saudi Aramco’s IPO on Sunday will begin a fortnight of feverish debates and valuation discussions among investors and banks. But Aramco is not just an investment in an oil company: it is an invitation to be a junior investor in the state of Saudi Arabia — with all the dangers and upside that entails.

    • 05 Nov 2019
  • Investors: stand up and be counted on Aramco

    Do responsible investing, ESG and sustainable finance mean anything? If so, they must mean investors cannot buy Saudi Aramco’s IPO. When the world is desperately trying to cut carbon emissions, ploughing billions into a newly listed oil company is the definition of a backward step.

    • 05 Nov 2019
  • Saudi Aramco ends 'phoney war' with long awaited IPO

    The IPO of Saudi Aramco has finally arrived, ending years of speculation over whether the world’s most profitable company would be listed. For investors, and equity capital markets as a whole, it ends feverish speculation over the company’s gargantuan valuation and allows funds to start crunching real numbers on potential dividends.

    • 04 Nov 2019