BusinessReport Autumn 2012
Brazil means business in the Middle East
For years Europe and the US have considered the Arab world their exclusive customer. Then came the Turks and the Chinese – going for risks and dumping prices. In between this competition of old and new export powers another player slips in. Brazil is slowly but surely extending its economic influence in Africa.
Do you believe that markets in the Arab world could use another player in the export competition? Have you had enough of the European lament and Anti-Chinese blame-game about price dumping and ruthless business practice? Then you are probably from Rio. Take it easy, and enjoy our cover story on Brazilian business in Africa and the Middle East: Samba Alaikum. And a happy new year!
Paris, mon amour!
The uncertain future of a business love affair
Qatar and France have a long-lasting liaison cemented in billions of euros of investments, which peaked under President Sarkozy. After the ousting of the conservative leader in May’s general election the emirate feared to be left out in the cold.
Where is French-Qatari business going after Francois Hollande moved into the Elysée? zenith's Paris correspondent Charlie Hamilton took the temperature of this love affairs and tells why interested people shouldn't worry: the hour calls for a return of routine politics and diplomats. After all, Hollande cannot afford to snub the Sheikh and his generous relatives.
Charity and treasure
How Islamic finance is heading for the Awqaf
Islamic finance firms are trying to introduce modern asset management into the centuries-old world of religious endowments, or Awqaf, they hope to capitalise on vast, but as yet largely unused assets and on a growing political demand for transparency and oversight.
The financial sector in the Gulf has suffered in recent years and Islamic finance was not entirely spared from the consequences of risky securities and gambling. Let alone Egypt’s banking sector, which suffered from the unstable situation since the outbreak of the Arab Spring. Now, Islamic finance is digging for ancient treasures: The so-called Awqaf, are pious foundations in Islam, built to support hospitals and mosques. It is dead capital that is about to be reanimated but is it for the good of the believers or the bankers alone?