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Insights on money, career and trading

Oil and gas wealth makes MENA a lucrative target

Posted on December 3, 2013 by Daniel at 9:22 am

With millions of barrels of oil and cubic metres of gas sloshing and floating around the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, it’s hardly surprising businesses from all over the world tend to target this incredibly rich and culturally diverse area. And thanks to modern and innovative banking solutions, a range of useful import services can help make the trading experience a whole lot easier, not to mention safer, for companies in the US, UK and Europe looking to break into and exploit such lucrative overseas markets.

Egypt ticks a lot of the boxes

Yes it does. Despite all of the unrest following the 2011 revolution, Egypt still remains a country with long-term prospects. The country’s underlying economic fundamentals are sound, say commentators, even despite the present and sometimes seemingly insurmountable political difficulties. It’s growing population of some 84 million people is the largest in the region.

Egypt’s natural gas reserves have grown rapidly in recent years, establishing the segment as the most vibrant in the wider energy sector, according to the Oxford Business Group (OBG). In 2010, the US Geological Survey released its assessment of the Nile Delta basin, one of the two principal gas-producing areas in the country, declaring that the regions undiscovered but technically recoverable gas resources were three times larger than estimated.

The OBG says, “Since then a string of gas discoveries has been announced by oil and gas companies working within Egypt’s jurisdiction, including a number of finds this year alone. In May, US-based Apache Corporation released details of two significant discoveries in its North Ras Qattara and North Tarek concessions, and the most recent find in the Salamat field, announced in September by British Petroleum, has served to reinforce the optimism surrounding Egypt’s offshore gas prospects.”

Free zones

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Persian Gulf represents another lucrative target for overseas investors and entrepreneurs looking to cash in on business opportunities. The UAE makes it easy, too, with dozens of free zones established aimed at attracting both small and medium-sized enterprises and the largest multinational conglomerates in the world.

Business concessions include no personal or corporate tax levied, 100% foreign ownership allowed, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, no foreign exchange controls, purpose-built infrastructure if required and little or no restriction with regard to hiring and firing staff. Throw in low-cost utilities and modern communications, including excellent roads, ports and airports, and it’s not hard to see why companies around the world are queuing up to take advantage.

Diversification away from oil

That’s the reason for the establishment of free zones. Oil won’t last forever and it’s no good simply being a one-trick economic pony nowadays and waiting for the inevitable day. Other countries in the Persian Gulf also face similar challenges and are toying with diversification to a similar or lesser extent.

A recent survey of some 90 institutional investors across 12 MENA countries found investor sentiment was extremely positive towards the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The UAE, not surprisingly, came top of the investor league table of desirable locations. It’s not hard to see why.

Check out the full OBG report into Egypt’s rising gas potential here.

9 Top Tips to Help You Start Your Own Business

Posted on December 2, 2013 by Daniel at 1:43 pm


Here you will find a few key things that just might help you to get your new business up-and-running:

1. research, research and research again your idea before you launch your business. Some people sleepwalk into starting a business and actually admit after a short period that they have no idea why they are doing what they are doing.  That is not a tactic likely to help you achieve success;


More baby boomers pledge assets for cash

Posted on November 27, 2013 by Daniel at 2:39 am

boomerThe discovery of a Constable worth £250,000 in the family attic has highlighted the extent of the assets that the ‘baby boomer’ generation has built up.

Now, as the baby boomers start to feel the chill winds of austerity, they are seeking to generate extra cash by selling some of those assets.

That’s the view of borro, one of the UK’s leading lenders against the security of assets such as jewellery, cars and watches. It reports a 56 per cent increase in the number of 50 to 60-year-olds using its services in the past four years and nearly a quarter of all its loans are now to customers in this age group.


Avoid an Expensive Boiler Breakdown

Posted on November 21, 2013 by Daniel at 6:58 pm


If you’ve suffered a boiler breakdown before, you’ll know how frustrating and how costly it can be to resolve the issue. It’s manageable in the warmer months, because heating the house isn’t a necessity, but a broken boiler in the winter can cause serious problems. If you’re worried about this happening to you – perhaps you have an old or somewhat temperamental boiler – then there are precautions you can take to prevent your house turning into an igloo.


What Should You Do After Getting That Good Job?

Posted on November 20, 2013 by Daniel at 4:52 pm


It’s finally happened. You aced the interviews, waited with bated breath for the phone call, and now you have it: that good-paying job with benefits that puts you firmly on a career path. Maybe this is your first “real job” out of college; maybe this is a job you’ve finally managed to snag after months — or years — of unemployment or underemployment.


6 Ways to Save Money on Furniture

Posted on November 13, 2013 by Daniel at 12:51 pm


When you move into a new apartment, the first few weeks are particularly rough. You’ll need a lot of things, including furniture, which isn’t cheap. Here are a few ways you can save money on furniture.


Insights on money, career and trading