Market Monitor

Saudi Aramco: strategic success means more than meeting corporate goals

09 July 2019
A lot more is at stake in the restructuring of Saudi Aramco than just its corporate strategic success. The future viability of the state of Saudi Arabia depends on the national oil company (NOC) cultivating a vibrant industrial sector. At the same time, the government’s success in achieving its... »

UAE & Saudi Arabia: economic diversification through SMART tech

05 July 2019
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are focusing on using advanced technology to foster economic growth as part of their broader development plans. The success of these initiatives will depend heavily on their ability to attract foreign investment. The UAE stands on a strong footing in this regard, while Saudi... »

Morocco: identifying industry bright spots

02 July 2019
Morocco will be a bright spot for investment in the MENA region over the next five years. Opportunities will be underpinned by solid underlying economic growth and a competitive business environment. Three particularly promising areas are export-orientated manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism.

Turkey: between transactional pragmatism and emotional strategy

28 June 2019
Turkey’s dispute with the US over its acquisition of long-range missile defence system S-400 is not a one-off: the country’s ambition to become more self-reliant in military hardware and security is a point of contention between it, the US and, more broadly, NATO. Turkey’s gradual adoption of hard power... »

Middle East utilities vs distributed generation: a losing battle

25 June 2019
Distributed renewable energy generation offers many opportunities for power sectors in the Middle East, including the ability to increase the resilience of the power system and reduce both the cost of subsidies – which weigh heavily on states’ budgets – and the need for grid expansion. However, state-owned electricity... »

Middle East gas players weigh up how to deal with the US LNG surge

21 June 2019
Saudi Aramco’s recent proposed investment in Sempra Energy’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Port Arthur, Texas, is indicative of the growing power of the US in the global energy market. The surge in US oil production has already had a major impact on the Middle East: the... »

Power interconnectivity high on policy agenda in sub-Saharan Africa, but far from realised

18 June 2019
The potential for grid interconnectivity and increased cross-border electricity trading in sub-Saharan Africa is significant. In addition to boosting energy security, it would likely bring down electricity costs and enable greater amounts of renewable energy to be integrated into the power mix, while also providing widespread investment opportunities for... »

Libya: from political stagnation to civil war?

14 June 2019
Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar’s April attack on Tripoli and the Government of National Accord has deepened the political disintegration of Libya. Foreign powers have at times violently intervened in the country and in other instances pushed for peaceful solutions. Renewed internal fighting has increased competitive pressures externally, potentially undoing... »

Huawei and 5G – what’s the big deal?

12 June 2019
President Donald Trump’s Executive Order declaring a national emergency over threats from the unrestricted acquisition or use of ICT in the US on May 15, and the barring of US businesses from purchasing Huawei products and selling critical technology to the Chinese telecoms giant, are intended to protect the... »

Do Egypt’s macroeconomic indicators flatter to deceive?

07 June 2019
One of the key questions facing Egypt as it emerges from a three-year IMF reform programme is how resilient it will be to any future external shocks. The country’s deal with the IMF has yielded marked improvements to many of its main macroeconomic indicators, which should provide a platform... »

The cost of simplistic power purchase

30 May 2019
Renewable energy deployment is increasingly reliant on independent power producers through power purchase agreements. Yet, off-takers are finding themselves committed to purchasing power at long-term and high prices in a dynamic market, while assuming all the risks. This is an impediment both for expanding renewables and achieving lower electricity... »

Solving Iraq’s electricity crisis

30 May 2019
Increased private participation in Iraq’s power sector could see generating capacity triple over the next decade. However, structural reforms, not more infrastructure, are required if Iraq is to put an end to power shortages.

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