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Volatile oil prices and geopolitical uncertainties continue to take centre stage, the region witnessed a record year in sovereign bond issuance eclipsing a sluggish IPO performance

IPO activity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC” or the “Gulf”) remained lacklustre during Q4 2016. Investors sentiment continue to be affected by ongoing geopolitical uncertainty, government’s additional austerity measures accompanied by further spending cuts, whilst regional stocks indexes remained bearish throughout the year a late rally in oil prices helped ease the pressure on regional budget constraints.

Demographic and technological shifts are some of the megatrends that are disrupting the Middle Eastern retail sector

According to PwC Middle East’s latest “Total Retail Middle East 2016: They say they want a revolution”, Middle Eastern retail is in revolution and online shoppers in the Middle East are fundamentally disrupting retail. Technology is changing not just how consumers shop, but how retailers operate across the spectrum: from supply chain management, all the way through to customer engagement and brand management.

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