Market Monitor

The pattern of protest in the Middle East

21 January 2020
The popular uprisings associated with the Arab Spring, and recent and ongoing protests in countries such as Iraq, Iran and Lebanon differ in origin, but their underlying causes are similar. The reasons revolt does not lead to real political and economic change are also the same. The fundamental challenge... »

Brazil is open for business

17 January 2020
When the divisive Jair Bolsonaro became president of Brazil a year ago, it raised many concerns about the direction his country would take. The domestic and international business community has been relatively united in welcoming him and his strong free-market inclinations, which remain particularly attractive to foreign investors. For... »

Agriculture in CEE: Competitive advantages amid structural downsides

20 December 2019
Swathes of under-invested land, a strong tradition of agricultural production, and access to EU markets and funds are draws for investors in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Recent years have seen landmark investments in the region’s agricultural sector, including from food-insecure Gulf countries. But businesses still grapple with fragmented... »

US trade turmoil: Five impacts on the Middle East and North Africa

17 December 2019
Rising US tariffs on China and the EU will have indirect impacts on economies in the MENA region over the coming years. These will include stronger energy demand from China, lower global energy and food prices, weaker manufacturing exports to the EU and potentially slower growth in China’s infrastructure... »

The rise of digital solutions – and vulnerabilities – in oil and gas

06 December 2019
The hydrocarbons sector is increasingly turning to digital solutions to monitor, predict and optimise operations, enabling companies to better insulate themselves against market volatility. The process of digitalisation will create significant vulnerabilities in terms of cybersecurity and data privacy. O&G companies are particularly exposed, and it will take government... »

Going places: South-east Europe’s tech sector

22 November 2019
With a strong tradition of technical and scientific education, relatively low cost bases, a strategic location, and growing support from governments and private investors, the tech sector in South-east Europe is a bright spot on the investment landscape. While other industries struggle with politics, bureaucracy and relatively small domestic... »

Lebanon: attempts to fast-track electricity reform

19 November 2019
Electricity reforms are a priority for Lebanon, a country in the midst of an economic crisis, at high risk of default with a debt to GDP ratio surpassing 150%, and a negative outlook credit rating. The power sector is accountable for $36bn – 40% – of Lebanon’s public debt.... »

Adriatic tourism: potential vs roadblocks

15 November 2019
Croatia and Montenegro have large and growing tourism industries. While Montenegro has seen a range of major resort investments from foreign companies, developments backed by foreign direct investment in Croatia have been held up by bureaucracy and poorly conceived projects. Nonetheless, opportunities in Croatia and downside risks in Montenegro... »

The ups and downs of Iran’s economy

08 November 2019
On a roller coaster ride for the past thirty years, Iran’s economy is once again in crisis mode. After a modest recovery following the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and lifting of the UN oil embargo of 2012–16, the economic downturn which began in 2018... »

Renewable energy powering electricity sector investment in sub-Saharan Africa

29 October 2019
Renewable energy projects, particularly utility-scale grid connected developments, are emerging as an investment bright spot and capacity growth out-performer in sub-Saharan Africa’s wider power market. This will continue over the coming years, underpinned by strong underlying demand for electricity, the lower-risk profile of renewable energy assets compared with conventional... »

Testing Turkey’s economic resilience

25 October 2019
In the midst of renewed tensions with Washington over Ankara’s military incursion in Syria, there are fresh concerns that Turkey’s economy could soon face another confidence shock. The economy has proved relatively resilient to headwinds in the recent past, and the country has maintained a good outlook for foreign... »

Drones: the strategic game changers

18 October 2019
The surprise attack on the Saudi Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities in September has drawn attention to the increasing role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, in conflict. Innovations in military technologies require a new strategic discourse, but in the realm of unmanned warfare there remains... »

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