Changing times, changing places


ME PoV Winter 2013 issue

Changing times, changing places

The winter 2013 issue tackles several actual hot issues: from growth of e-commerce, Internet banking, growth strategies and FATCA and much more.

About this issue

The world may not have ended in December 2012, as had been predicted by certain civilizations, but it has certainly changed. These changes, which encompass all aspects of life as we have grown accustomed to it, be they political, economic, financial, business or environmental to name but a few, have been so strong and so wide-reaching that they have questioned many ideas we had accepted to be truths. Even a traditionally conservative Middle East has had to react. The Internet of course has been a catalyst to such transformations, at the center of these changes. Offering an unparalleled wealth of information in one location, hitherto unprecedented, one can reach for a favorite book, learn the best businesses practices, even find one’s grandmother’s favorite recipe and learn all the components of a plane’s engine, even learn to play a favorite piece of music, in the comfort of one’s own armchair. 

Click the link on the left to access the Winter 2013 issue. Alternatively, you can read each article separately by clicking below.

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On many counts, the past two years have been extraordinary for e-commerce in the Middle East. The total value of online transactions in the region grew three- or even four-fold in some countries. A number of regional start-ups bucked the e-commerce trend with many overpassing the symbolic USD 1m mark in revenues after less than two years of operations. Some of these success stories include JadoPado, EmiratesAvenue and Alshop. Simultaneously, group-buying companies such as Cobone also drove the growth of e-transactions in 2011 though the trend has receded in 2012 with the exit of Livingsocial from the market. 

Click here to read the full article.

May the best branch win

As the Internet and related social media continue to prove themselves a powerful, if unavoidable, tool to help businesses in keeping their employees and customers connected, banks are facing fundamental issues with the rise of electronic banking transaction channels, namely about the role of the traditional bank branch and its future.

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In the aftermath of the global financial crisis corporate priorities are shifting away from strategies centered on the short-term goal of self-preservation – such as cash accumulation, debt paydown and cost reduction – and more towards “growth.” What do we mean by growth, why is it so important and how do we achieve it?

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From mad man to superwoman

Today’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is smarter, wiser and – contrary to popular belief – enjoys a higher average tenure. But it hasn’t always been this way. What happened? Let’s take a short trip back in time and experience the evolution of this executive. Her ascendance was always in the cards, but she had to wait for the rise of another player.

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Is small more beautiful?

To some they are the catalysts of economic growth, the backbone of the private sector; to others they empower people, drive creativity and encourage specialization. They are the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Many governments are waking up to the importance of SMEs to the economies of their countries – in terms of GDP, growth and talent – and are setting up programs to create them, support them and enable them to succeed. Even the independent accounting standard setting body – the International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) – has acknowledged the importance of SMEs and has issued International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) for SMEs.

Click here to read the full article.

The road ahead

On January 17, 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department and Inland Revenue Service (IRS) released the long-awaited final regulations for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and in so doing are attempting to provide a balanced and integrated method for implementing this law and a risk-based approach that effectively addresses policy, eliminates burdens and builds on existing practices and procedures.

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$ + € + ¥ = ?

The world has been living without an International Monetary System (IMS) since August 15, 1971 when U.S. President Richard Nixon terminated the convertibility of the U.S. Dollar into gold, thereby ending the Bretton Woods agreement.* Since that action – often referred to as the Nixon shock – was taken, the IMS lives under the reign of the Dollar as the U.S. economy remains the largest and the most dynamic.

Click here to read the full article.

Saudi Capital Markets

Much has been made of the decision to allow overseas investors access to direct investment in the Tadawul – the flagship exchange of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But as companies across the Kingdom continue to add their names to an ever-increasing IPO pipeline, advisors, and the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) alike, are advocating a cautious approach to the listing process.

Click here to read the full article.

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