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MENA Update: Sep 2021

Opportunities in African and GCC Markets

The following selection represents some of the top recent content on the Middle East and Africa, including insights into economic development within African countries, ideas about reforming MENA pension systems, and updates on the Middle Eastern fintech scene.

MENA camels

Bond Investors and Africa’s Leapfrogging Prospects (NN IP, 2021)

Economic development in Africa is accelerating due to a multitude of factors, including new technologies, urbanisation, and population growth. Will African economies leapfrog other emerging markets?

GCC Bond Market in a Green-Energy World (Franklin Templeton Investments, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the EMEA region

As GCC countries diversify away from their historical reliance upon fossil fuel reserves, Franklin Templeton examines opportunities for investment in green energy and how the GCC bond market can help to facilitate these goals.

The Inside Story: Tale of two energy utilities (T. Rowe Price, Aug 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

This note on emerging market corporate bond analysis looks at the investment case behind two utility companies, one of which is based in Oman.

The Golden Paper on Fixing Pension Systems in MENA Region (Fintech Robos, 2021)

Three potential solutions are proposed to reform public pensions in the MENA region. All but three Arab countries have pension funding deficits of greater than 50%.

Pension Allocation Trends: LatAm, Middle East, Africa & Asia (Mercer, 2021)

Mercer delivers insights into pension fund allocations in several regions of the globe, including the Middle East and Africa. This 83-page report also gives an overview of each country's retirement savings environment.

The Future of Payments in the Middle East (McKinsey & Company, 2021)

This article from McKinsey & Company discusses the transition from cash transactions to digital transactions in the Middle East, and the implications of this shift for banks and other payment providers.

Arab Region Fintech Guide (Arab Monetary Fund, 2021)

The Arab Monetary Fund reports on the fintech environment within ten countries, including updates on investment regulations, licensing requirements, and other compliance issues.

Podcast: UAE office and real estate markets (Knight Frank, 2021)

In this podcast, panellists from Knight Frank discuss the performance of UAE real estate, specifically focusing on the Dubai and Abu Dhabi commercial real estate markets.