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Sun 5 Jun 2011 07:05 PM

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Mideast CFOs upbeat on 2011 prospects, says Deloitte

82% of chief financial officers say they believe operating cashflow will improve over next year

Mideast CFOs upbeat on 2011 prospects, says Deloitte

More than two thirds of chief financial officers operating in the Middle East are optimistic about prospects for their company in 2011, a new survey has shown.

The Deloitte 2011 semi-annual Middle East CFO survey also said 82 percent of them believe their company's operating cash flow will increase over the coming 12 months.

"Despite the cautionary news flow, including the Japanese earthquake and waves of social upheaval and conflict unfolding around the region, CFOs continue to express growing optimism ever-since our first CFO survey was launched 18 months ago," said James Babb, CFO programme leader at Deloitte in the Middle East.

The survey also said 63 percent of CFOs expect an increase in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity over the next year.

Another 34 percent indicated that they are planning for an M&A transaction during the period, with 24 percent looking for a joint venture and 16 percent seeking divestiture.

The survey showed that bank borrowings continue to be the preferred instrument of finance for CFOs in the region with a net 68 percent holding a favourable view.

Just over half of CFOs (52 percent) indicated the combination of increased social unrest and potential for military conflict as the high impact risk they are worried about the most.

Babb added: "Over the past 18 months CFOs have continued to provide accurate forecasts of the financial and economic prospects in the region and we hope they have provided us with equally prescient insight into what to expect going forward."

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