The annual IFR/PFI Middle East Review comes at a time of renewed confidence in the region and its capital markets. The Dubai crisis has abated - although there is still plenty of restructuring work available for assets linked to Dubai Inc. The Middle East region is getting back to concentrating on growing on the path it had set itself before the Dubai, and indeed the global financial crisis, hit.
The annual review will look at plans to integrate the Gulf region further, political and economically, and what impact that will have on the local capital markets. Is the region getting smaller, less diverse? Plans for GCC political integration and a possible new single currency will be reviewed. How strong is the desire for integration within the GCC? And the review will ask is a new single UAE stock market on the cards and what impact will this have on the local capital markets?
Middle East companies remain important players in the global M&A markets. The review will examine if their appetite for overseas assets has increased or diminished since the global crisis. How have Middle East corporate attitudes changed in the last 18 months, if at all?
The energy and infrastructure markets are going from strength to strength. The financings are concentrated in the power and transport sectors and the review will look in depth at both. While the power sector is established, the private infrastructure sector is still in its infancy. Can it fulfil its potential?
The review will cover the latest on the Dubai financial restructurings. And it will look at the impact of the refinancings on Dubai and the Middle East region. What impact are these having on the image of Dubai? And crucially what impact are these having on the banks, ie the impact of provisioning?
The review will carry in depth case studies on other landmark deals in the region - the Jubail refinery project financing and Zain Africa/Bharti Airtel M&A deal, for instance.
The Islamic capital markets are facing their own restructuring issues. The review will consider the complexities of restructuring shari’a complaint companies and the assets within the companies. What has been learnt and has still to be learnt for doing this successfully?
The IFR/PFI Middle East review, now in its fifth year, has established itself as an important annual publication for the Gulf Capital markets. This year, once again, it will provide a vital snapshot of this growing market.