Why is the Middle East Drawing Business Investments Despite Turmoil?

An OHCHR press conference on business and human rights, Geneva 2012.Source: US Mission Photo by Eric Bridiers, Flickr For the third consecutive year, economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa in 2019 fell to 0.1 percent, due to a combination of geopolitical turmoil, policy constraints and US sanctions on several states in the region. This unsatisfactory and dismal economic performance ...

Middle East Banks Neglect Human Rights Implications of their Business Practices

French bank BNP Paribas faces as ongoing lawsuit for its alleged role in financing Omar al-Bashir’s regime in Sudan. Source: BNP Paribas Money makes the world go ‘round, as the saying goes. It greases the wheels of global business as well as eases the pain in the gap between the haves and the have nots ...

When it comes to human rights, the US is guilty of blatant hypocrisy

The US has punished Chinese companies for Uighur oppression, but ignores an Israeli surveillance state that routinely intimidates Palestinians The United States has traditionally positioned itself as a champion of human rights around the world, speaking out for dissidents and minorities in Syria, China, Russia and Iran. The US government has frequently employed restrictions or ...

Arms sales are about profit and politics, not ethics

We must expose where public dollars are really being spent and boycott or divest from the enterprises that profit from selling munitions that kill. Western governments were quick to express their outrage at Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria to clear it of Kurds, resulting in the displacement of more than 275,000. Ten countries—including the United States, ...

MENA Businesses & Human Rights: How should we move forward?

Nine years after the so-called “Arab Spring” protests swept the Middle East and North Africa, with mostly young people calling for the end of autocracy and respect for their human rights, civil and human rights are more at risk than ever. Governments across the region engage in vicious, factional wars for control (Syria, Yemen, Libya); ...

Equity market reaction to events surrounding reforms in the minority shareholder protection

My 2012 thesis investigated the equity market reaction to events surrounding reforms in the quality and levels of minority shareholder protection, in particular country jurisdictions. The analysis was carried out using one minority shareholder legal protection reform that was enacted in Saudi Arabia and two reforms enacted in Tunisia from late 2007 until early 2009. ...

Empirical results of the relation between the minority shareholders protection and equity markets

My thesis examined empirically whether higher levels of legal protection for minority shareholders are associated with equity markets which were larger, more active, and faster in issuing new securities, that is to say equity market development. Using a sample of 16 MENA countries over the period between 2005-2009, panel data analyses as well as the ...

MENA’s Banking sector and monetary policy

The MENA region is classified as a bank-based financial system, where banks control most financial flows and possess most financial assets (Sourial , 2004: Ben Naceur and Omran, 2010). Although, there are over 600 banks with a widespread network of thousands of branches in the MENA countries, the World Bank (2009) suggests that there are fewer ...

Introduction into MENA Financial Markets and Institutions

There are significant differences in the levels of financial sector development among the countries throughout the MENA region. However, some broad generalisations can be made about its overall financial system. Despite the dramatic growth in financial institutions, the region’s financial sector is highly dominated by the banking system and plays a small role in the ...

MENA’s Economic Background

Despite the MENA region being rich in oil, gas and other natural resources, it still falls far behind other developing regions, especially Latin America and South East Asia, in terms of economic development (Wilson and Munawar, 1995). During the past 25 years, the MENA has shown an overall weakness in economic performance, being less economically ...