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Loan defaults spike at Gulf banks after oil slump

More than two-thirds of Gulf banks reported an increase in unpaid loans in the first three months of the year and more defaults are likely.

Source: Reuters

Gulf banks report more loan defaults as oil slump plays out

DUBAI, May 25- More than two-thirds of Gulf banks reported an increase in unpaid loans in the first three months of the year and more defaults are likely as oil-dependent governments slash spending to adjust to lower crude prices. "The days of double-digit profits and expansion plans are gone," said one United Arab Emirates- based banker. National Commercial Bank,...

Source: Reuters

In tough times, most Palestinians view government as corrupt

RAMALLAH, West Bank— A gated community of villas with well-tended flower gardens near the West Bank town of Ramallah may help explain why Palestinians almost universally believe there is corruption in the government of President Mahmoud Abbas. Nader Said, a veteran pollster, surveyed 1,200 people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last month.

Source: The Associated Press

Here’s why India is wooing the Middle East

India's Prime Minister will embark on a two-day visit to long-time partner Iran, close on the heels of a trip to Saudi Arabia.

Source: CNBC.com

Moody's downgrades Saudi Arabia on lower oil prices

NEW YORK— Saudi Arabia's credit rating has been downgraded by Moody's because of the long and deep slump in oil prices. Moody's Investors Service said Saturday that it also downgraded Gulf oil producers Bahrain and Oman. Moody's lowered Oman to Baa1 from A3 and Bahrain to Ba2 from Ba1.

Source: The Associated Press

Moody's cuts Saudi, Oman, Bahrain debt ratings

DUBAI, May 14- Moody's Investors Service cut its debt ratings for Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain on Saturday while assigning negative outlooks to three neighboring states, as low oil prices continue to undermine government finances in the region. The agency downgraded Oman by one notch to Baa1 with a stable outlook, and cut Bahrain by one notch to Ba2, deeper in...

Source: Reuters

IMF'S Lagarde pens essay on corruption

Strengthening the rule of law is critical to increasing individual accountability, writes International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Christine Lagarde.

Source: CNBC.com

Panama, Lebanon among recent joiners of global tax info sharing deal - OECD

PARIS, May 11- Panama, rocked by a recent major tax scandal, has joined around 100 countries in an agreement to share financial information automatically to tackle tax evasion, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Wednesday. Panama came under pressure after the leak of thousands of confidential documents from a Panamanian law...

Source: Reuters

UPDATE 1-Turkey's TAV Airports plans bids in Asia, Africa and Middle East

*Tenders expected for Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and India. DUBAI, May 10- Turkish airport operator TAV is planning to bid for new tenders in Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and India in the next 12-24 months, Chief Executive Sani Sener told Reuters on Tuesday, aiming to accelerate its push into new markets. "We are going to be very active in South East Asia and Africa and...

Source: Reuters

COLUMN-Saudi Arabia's oil policy could become more transparent: Kemp

LONDON, May 9- The appointment of Khalid al-Falih as Saudi Arabia's new energy minister to replace veteran oil minister Ali al-Naimi is likely to bring a big shift in style even if the substance of policy remains largely unchanged. Saudi Arabia has had just five ministers in charge of oil policy since 1960. Naimi was identified with the previous administration...

Source: Reuters