Sahar Ali spent a decade in the United States before returning to Sudan to lead the business administration department at Sudan International University, a private school in Khartoum. She sat down with Arabic Knowledge@Wharton to provide a rare snapshot of the country's economic prospects, the nature of business training in Sudan and how women are at the forefront of carrying the private sector forward.
Published: May 28, 2013 Investing in Gold: Does It Stack Up?
Gold has a timeless allure -- especially if you worry about stock market volatility, inflation, a decay of ordinary currency or the collapse of civilization. Yet not everyone agrees that gold offers the safe haven its promoters describe. How reliable can demand be for a commodity that very few people actually need? What is the proper role for gold in an investment portfolio? Why has its price been falling?
Published: May 28, 2013 Gulf Countries Navigate Billions into Mega Port Projects
For years, Dubai's Jebel Ali Port and industrial zone operated as the shipping hub for the Gulf region. But now, neighboring Arab cities are investing huge sums of money to develop competing mega shipping ports, as the Gulf region views logistics as a means of diversifying traditional oil economies. There is concern however about infrastructure overlap and oversupply as global shipping traffic and trade show signs of slower growth.
Published: April 16, 2013 Amidst High Praise for Gulf Oil Economies, Caution that Serious Challenges Lie Ahead
Flush with revenues, engaged in aggressive social spending and enjoying relative calm, some of the Arab World's oil-producing countries are in a phase of super-abundance, according to regional economic and financial observers. Gathered at a recent Abu Dhabi conference co-sponsored by the Higher Colleges of Technology, they noted that the Gulf's wealth of opportunities are, however, tempered by certain concerns, including potential budget deficits and questions regarding the economic and political impact of a United States that is not dependent on Middle Eastern oil.
Published: April 02, 2013 Global Currency Battles: A Waiting Disaster or a Win for All?
To many, Japan's recent moves to devalue the yen looked like the spark that could ignite a global currency war -- a series of competitive devaluations that, last century, helped plunge the world into the Great Depression. Until now, central bankers have been resisting the urge to politicize exchange rates. However, while currency skirmishes can be dangerous and require monitoring, they are also necessary for establishing equilibrium in markets and will help in the global economic recovery, some experts say.
Published: March 19, 2013 Reverse Mergers: A Looming U.S.-China Showdown over Securities Regulation?
As the U.S. and China tussle over high-profile trade disputes and geopolitical tensions, a scuffle in yet another arena -- the securities market -- has been brewing and threatens to boil over soon. U.S. securities regulators are frustrated in their efforts to go after Chinese companies that listed on U.S. stock exchanges through transactions known as "reverse mergers," attracting investors often with allegedly fraudulent financial disclosures. Meanwhile, U.S. investors in Chinese reverse merger companies face limited prospects recuperating their losses, experts say.
Published: March 05, 2013 How the Middle East Is Protecting Itself from Europe's Ongoing Woes
In spite of the austerity efforts by European governments and increased financial collaboration in the Eurozone, the region remains saddled with a number of economic and fiscal difficulties. Sony Kapoor, the head of European think tank ReDefine, tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton that Middle Eastern investors have moved interests out of Europe and into Asia or closer to home as a result. "We have also seen some opportunistic buying-up of distressed assets by the Middle East, so there are also other opportunities that will arise," he adds.
Published: February 05, 2013 Consumer Credit in China
Since being introduced in 1985, credit cards issued in China have grown at an astonishing rate, reaching 285 million in 2011, five times the number in 2006. Growth is expected to continue at 31% per year over the next five years. Yet credit cards are still used mostly for large-ticket items, while cash remains the predominant payment method for smaller purchases. In addition, China's traditional beliefs about personal finance have slowed the adoption of electronic payment methods. Recent studies, however, have also shown that these traditional value systems are changing, and that Western consumption-driven lifestyles are finding their way into China, especially among the youth.
Published: January 08, 2013 Shrugging Off a Debt Default, Gulf Islamic Financial Markets Show Maturity
A major United Arab Emirates energy company defaults on nearly US$1billion in debt, but the market takes the announcement in stride rather than panicking. It is a stark contrast to investor reaction in 2009, when Dubai World requested a six-month delay on payments on US$26 billion in debt. A matured, deeper Islamic finance market, the Arab Spring and Dubai's economic resurgence are all reasons why observers say the default caused little concern, despite almost US$50 billion of maturing debt in the Emirate in the next four years.
Published: November 13, 2012 Private Equity in India Finds Opportunity in Adversity
Private equity (PE) in India is facing problems because of unclear and changing regulations, and the lack of exit routes. At the same time, many are turning to PE funds because other sources of finance have dried up. This year is expected to be one of consolidation for the industry, according to the "India Private Equity Report 2012," released by global management consulting firm Bain & Company.
Published: November 13, 2012