The oil boom of the last three years has accelerated growth in financial market activities across the Gulf region and in Islamic financial and banking activities overall. The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE) are one of the fastest growing parts of the world economy. Burgeoning wealth has strengthened the demand for more sophisticated financial services. Rising transaction volumes have made a compelling case for building the infrastructure to expand services while justifying the cost. These investments in financial market capability have accelerated the development of a financial services industry in the region and introduced new instruments, prompting banking and financial institutions to set up in the Gulf. This book examines the Gulf region as a financial center and an economic power hub, focusing on its role in the world economy and capital markets. In particular, the authors address the issue of whether wealth alone is enough to create an international financial center. They also assess how many financial centers the Gulf can support and who has the best chance of making the transformation from regional player to global leader. This timely book is the first to provide an overall analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the region, assessing its global aspirations and exploring long-term trends.
Contributors include Ahmet Akarli (Goldman Sachs), Alexander Böhmer (OECD), Florence Eid (Pantera Capital LP),Tarek Fadlallah (Nomura), Ghaleb Faidi (ILMAM), Andrea Goldstein (OECD), Daniel Hanna (Standard Chartered Bank), Michael Hume (Lehman Brothers), Stephen Jen (Morgan Stanley),Vanessa Rossi (Chatham House and Oxford Economics), and Andrew Rozanov (State Street Global Advisors).