Winter 2018

EDITORIAL: Not for the timid

Romil_PatelFrom a foreign policy perspective, the MENA region was once considered predictable. That is no longer true, and investors have taken notice. They cannot afford not to, as the notable absence of key players at the so-called “Davos in the desert” forum – the Future Investment Initiative conference held in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia in October – highlighted. Turkey, the former darling of foreign investors, had a turbulent 2018 that at the height of the crisis saw its currency plunge 40% in value against the US dollar. It has since recovered, but these incidents show that geopolitical risks are ingrained in the DNA of the region. It is not for the timid investor, but then that is often the trade-off for access to attractive returns. Few emerging markets are driven up or down by one simple theme or story. Instead, there is often a complex mix of different moving parts, and the MENA region is no exception. Both Iran and Turkey have experienced heightened tensions with the US – something other countries will find familiar. Whereas Turkey has experienced a respite following the release of a US pastor, Iran has been faced with yet more sanctions and the European Union is scrambling to keep the nuclear deal with Tehran on track. The question every investor will be asking is: what’s next? Romil Patel, editor, Funds Global MENA ©2018 funds global mena

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Jan 04, 2019

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

Jun 13, 2018

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...


ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

Jan 04, 2019

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.

MENA ROUNDTABLE: ‘The story is about reforms’

Jun 13, 2018

Our cross-industry panel discuss the positive backdrop in Egypt, the Dana Gas controversy and the potential index upgrades of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Chaired by George Mitton in Dubai.