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Wed 15 Jul 2009 04:00 AM

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Mixed messages

If anything is certain at the moment, it is that nothing is certain. The voices that claim to see economic recovery are as loud as those that don’t, and for every positive sign, there are negative and ambiguous signs to match.

Mixed messages

If anything is certain at the moment, it is that nothing is certain. The voices that claim to see economic recovery are as loud as those that don’t, and for every positive sign, there are negative and ambiguous signs to match.

Take our cover story of the July issue of Arabian Banking & Finance for instance. Majid Al Futtaim Asset Management have opened up the expertise gained through running the Majid Al Futtaim family office for the past seven years to provide investment opportunities for regional and international investors looking to the MENA region. The company believes that there is still positive economic prospects for the region, particularly with the need to carry on building infrastructure like roads, hosptials and schools to support a young, booming population.

At the same time, former World Bank chief James Wolfensohn, cites that very same young, rapidly expanding population as the reason why the Middle East will find recovery difficult, as it struggles to create enough suitable jobs to keep the youth employed.

Alongside other promising signs, then there is the problem of the two Saudi conglomerates, Saad and AHAB, and the potential damage that could be inflicted on regional banks if they are unable to restructure their debt adequately. Without better transparency from the banks affected, it seems certain that the uncertainty will prevail for now.Mark Sutton is the group editor of ITP’s technology publications.

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