DUBAI, (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank expects tough market conditions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) this year, a senior executive said on Tuesday.
Salman Al Khalifa, the bank’s top executive in the UAE and head of markets, said Deutsche retained a positive outlook on the region’s equities market.
“Even though political conditions have stabilised, lending conditions remain tight,” he told reporters. “We expect MENA market conditions to remain tight and tougher.
“However, we remain optimistic on equity markets on strong fundamentals and likely interest from foreign institutions.”
Political unrest has rocked the Arab world this year with uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia toppling long-time leaders while fighting takes place in Libya and Syria. The Gulf region has also seen protests.
Khalifa said he expected more debt issuance in the region ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Borrowers in the United Arab Emirates, which has largely been shielded from the regional political unrest, are seeing the current narrowing spreads as an attractive invitation to tap global liquidity amid strong investor demand.
Earlier this month, Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates issued $1 billion priced at the tighter end of guidance. Dubai’s government is roadshowing for a potential bond this week.