Privatization appears to be slowly rearing its head in the Middle East again, mostly in the economic plans of the GCC countries and in Egypt. To be clear, this is not because attitudes have changed. Divestment from state-owned enterprises is seen as a last resort in the Gulf countries in light of the fiscal tightening.
India's oil minister recently announced an effort to refresh the two-decade-old estimate of oil and gas reserves. But Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman at FGE, a consulting group focused on oil and gas markets, remains skeptical about efforts to further develop India's gas and oil industries — unless the government allows prices that are competitive with the international market.
Shariah-compliant investment vehicles dominate the investment scene in Saudi Arabia, especially on the retail side. Shariah-compliant public equities have consistently outperformed the broader market in recent periods.
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