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Chapter | Insurance from The Report: Dubai 2018

Intense competition, low penetration rates and a strong bias towards non-life products characterises Dubai’s insurance sector, with ratings agencies agreeing that there is robust medium-term growth potential for the emirate’s underwriters. S&P Global ratings predicts 10% per annum growth in gross written premiums for the UAE insurance sector in 2017 and 2018, compared to anticipated GDP growth over the same period of 3-3.5%. AM Best, a US-based ratings agency, noted an improvement in earnings coupled with solid premium growth when it compared the performance of listed companies in 2016 to the previous year. Among the key drivers of premium growth have been new federal regulations on motor insurance, as well as the introduction of compulsory health insurance for all residents of the emirate.

Chapter | Islamic Financial Services from The Report: Dubai 2018

A major international centre for Islamic finance, Dubai has more sukuk (Islamic bonds) listings by value than anywhere else in the world. The emirate is also home to Dubai Islamic Bank, the oldest – and third largest – fully fledged Islamic bank. The sector continues to develop rapidly, with local sharia-compliant banks registering faster growth than their conventional counterparts, although expansion could lose momentum in 2018. Efforts are under way to position Dubai as a centre for the halal economy generally and as a leader in the Islamic digital economy. This chapter contains an interview with Adnan Chilwan, Group CEO, Dubai Islamic Bank.

Chapter | Capital Markets from The Report: Dubai 2018

Dubai is home to a domestic stock exchange, an international market with one of the largest concentration of sukuk (Islamic bonds) in the world, as well as equity futures and three derivatives platform operators: the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, Dubai Mercantile Exchange and Nasdaq Dubai. The emirate continues to attract major international sukuk listings and all of its exchanges are in the process of expanding their product offerings, including moves into areas such as index funds and real estate investment trusts, and various new types of derivatives contracts. This chapter contains interviews with Essa Kazim, Chairman, Dubai Financial Market; Hamed Ali, CEO, Nasdaq Dubai; and Abdulfattah Sharaf, Group General Manager and CEO for the UAE, HSBC Bank Middle East.

Chapter | Banking from The Report: Dubai 2018

Dubai is home to some of the Middle East’s largest banks, as well as its major financial free zone. The emirate’s financial institutions have largely recovered from a rise in non-performing loans in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and are well capitalised and liquid despite a recent rise in delinquencies in the small and medium-sized enterprise segment. A new bankruptcy law and a recently launched credit bureau are set to underpin sustainable lending growth, and segments like Islamic banking and new financial technologies, with its advancement of blockchains, are helping to drive expansion and improve access to credit. This chapter contains interviews with Khalifa Mohammed Al Kindi, Chairman, Central Bank of the UAE; Bernd van Linder, CEO, Commercial Bank of Dubai; and Abdulla Qassem, Chairman, Network International.

Chapter | Economy from The Report: Dubai 2018

Dubai’s economy is among the most diversified in the region, thanks to factors such as a highly attractive business environment that has brought in large amounts of foreign investment. Despite producing little oil, growth has been affected in recent years by the knock-on effects of the fall in international oil prices and a consequent slowdown in neighbouring hydrocarbons-dependent territories. However, this has benefitted other sectors, such as transport, tourism and other indirectly related activities. A moderate oil price recovery in 2016, plans to step up infrastructure investment ahead of Expo 2020 and further diversification of the economy by boosting manufacturing output mean the emir- ate has one of the most dynamic short- and medium-term growth prospects in the region. This chapter contains interviews with Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber; Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General, GCC; Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade; and Raja Easa Al Gurg, President, Dubai Business Women Council, and Managing Director, Al Gurg Group.

Chapter | Legal Framework from The Report: Ghana 2018

In conjunction with AB & David Africa, this chapter contains an overview of the legal framework in which local and foreign investors operate in Ghana, covering an overview of the regulations governing different sectors, the rules for investment and expatriate employment and recently introduced legislation on trade and financial services. This chapter contains a viewpoint from David Ofosu-Dorte, Senior Partner, AB & David.