Market Monitor

China and Israel: evolving relations in the shadow of trade wars

20 September 2019
From a situation of no diplomatic connections and almost non-existent economic relations only a quarter of a century ago, Chinese–Israeli trade, investment and political ties are on an upward spiral. Although global tensions, most notably the US’s objection to the supply of certain technologies to China and, more recently,... »

Vietnam is a rising export hub, despite US tariff threat

17 September 2019
Vietnam will continue to emerge as a global manufacturing hub in the coming years, particularly in the electronics sector. Despite rising trade tensions with the US, structural factors including low wage costs, a large infrastructure pipeline and recently signed free-trade agreements should sustain investment in the manufacturing sector. Long-term... »

Israel goes to the polls again, but will the results be different this time?

13 September 2019
Just before Israelis embark on almost a month of Jewish High Holidays, traditionally a time of repentance and asking for forgiveness – something not often associated with the country’s politicians – they will go to the polls to choose the 22nd Knesset. It is the second time this year... »

Saudi Arabia raises political stakes by appointing royal as head of energy ministry

11 September 2019
Although the increased chatter surrounding Saudi Aramco’s IPO plans is exciting, what is needed is more clarity surrounding the motivation for recent personnel changes, and future thinking regarding energy policy and the Aramco strategy from key decision makers. What investors and potential investors dislike is uncertainty.

Saudi Arabia must find competitive edge to defend longer-term share of Chinese crude market

10 September 2019
In recent months, the market has touted Saudi Arabia’s success in capturing a larger share of China’s crude imports, surpassing Russia as the top supplier and even reaching record high export levels this summer. This development is in part the result of recent, strategic downstream investments by Saudi Arabia... »

After a brief hiatus, Saudi Arabia faces renewed growth and financial stability problems

06 September 2019
While preparing for a future protected from the vagaries of the oil markets, Saudi Arabia is likely to struggle with lower oil revenues as it attempts to shore up global markets.  It is getting very little help from other OPEC and OPEC+ members, and the more it undergirds prices... »

Egypt: Sisi’s power surplus

03 September 2019
When Abdel Fattah El Sisi seized power in July 2013 Egypt was beset by chronic electricity shortages. Six years on, and total electricity generating capacity is nearly double the peak load. Much of the credit for this rests with the electricity minister, Mohammed Shaker, who was appointed in March... »

East Mediterranean gas: an opportunity for closer cooperation

30 August 2019
Excitement over the discovery of several large natural gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean at the beginning of this decade was greatly tempered by the fields’ close proximity to two of the world’s most intractable geopolitical conflicts – the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Turkish/Cypriot dispute – and further complicated... »

Unlocking the transformative potential of fintech in the GCC

27 August 2019
The finance sector in the GCC region is about to pass a significant threshold which holds the potential to revolutionise many aspects of citizens' lives. Just as the arrival of the mobile phone in the late 1990s allowed GCC states to leapfrog many developed countries already wedded to the... »

Grand designs: are Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure plans too ambitious?

23 August 2019
Saudi Arabia has announced a trillion-dollar pipeline of infrastructure projects aimed at diversifying the economy beyond oil and positioning the kingdom as a global hub for investment and logistics. The development agenda has created opportunities in a range of new areas such as smart cities, tourism and clean energy.... »

Oman: making the most of a prime location

20 August 2019
The sultanate has every reason to be deeply anxious about the actual and potential conflicts on its northern and southern borders, but it also has an opportunity to turn this situation to its advantage. This has been evident in the recent flurry of activity for projects aimed at developing... »

Gulf oil: new moves in a changing domestic and global landscape

16 August 2019
Across the Gulf region, national oil companies (NOCs) are evolving into commercial and global enterprises, in different ways and with varying degrees of success.  Their strategic directions are influenced by factors related to their leaders’ development priorities, geopolitical drivers, resource endowments and commercial opportunities.  While some have been pioneers... »

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