Capitol Intelligence MENA
Regional HQ, HQ & Bureau locations

project-image-thumb4Supplying in-depth and actionable intelligence and forward looking news on financial, regulatory, commodity and political risk for Middle East and North Africa with special attention to gateway markets such as Tunisia and Jordan for the growth markets of Libya, Algeria, Iraq and Oman.

Financial industry research teams based in Amman and Tunis compile, in cooperation with staff based in MENA, a full database of critical financial information (M&A, debt, P&L, company info and top officers) and relevant regulatory/legislative documents.

HQ – Tunis, Tunisia and Amman, Jordan
Regional HQ – Baghdad, Iraq; Tripoli, Libya; and Muscat, Oman.
Bureaus – Basra, Iraq; Erbil, Iraq; Alexandria, Egypt; Benghazi, Libya; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Teheran; Muscat Oman; Manama, Bahrain; and Abu Dhabi, UAE.

CI VIEW: Tunisia’s ElFouladh steel group M&A target for Tenaris, Danieli, Macegaglia, Bizerte MP UPDATE

WASHINGTON/BIZERTE (CI MENA) – (Updating on May 18 to add interview with The Abrraj Group Managing Partner Sev Vettivetpillai ) The Tunisian state-owned Societe Tunisiene de Siderugie ElFouladh steel group is a perfect takeover target for specialty steel groups such as Italian-Brazilian giant Tenaris (NYSE: TS); Milan-based Danieli (BIT:DAN); and the Mantova-based Marcegaglia Group, Tunisian Member of Parliament and the highest elected official of Bizerte Ali Belakhoua said.

[Tenaris Chairman and CEO Paolo Rocca speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass at SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC. June 20, 2016]

In an interview with Capitol Intelligence/CI MENA during the IMF World Bank Spring Meetings, Belakhoua said the Bizerte-based steel plant can be transformed into a specialty oil services steel company serving the needs Tunisian-based oil operators such as oil giants such as Italy’s ENI (NYSE:E) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) and smaller players such as Woodlands, Texas-based Andarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) and Austria’s OMV Group.

Ali Belakhoua is also a member of the Natural Resources Committee of the Tunisian Parliament.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Kirkuk provides road map to post-ISIS Iraq and regional peace, Kirkuk Governor UPDATE

KIRKUK/WASHINGTON (CI MENA)  — (Update on March 22. 2017 to add US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Iraq Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi) — Kirkuk Governor Dr. Najmaldin O. Karim, MD is providing a road map for a stable and prosperous Iraq without the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with his no-nonsense management of the liberated oil rich territory next to the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) based in Erbil.

[US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross speaks to Capitol Intelligence/CI MENA using CI Glass at US Chamber of Commerce’s US-Iraq Business Initiative dinner for Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi at US Chamber of Commerce, March 20, 2017]

President Donald Trump decision to bolster US military forces to free Iraq’s second city Mosul from ISIS control has now put creating a new road map for post-ISIS Iraq on the forefront of the administration’s agenda.

Kirkuk’s Dr. Karim can-do management style — combined with US private sector leadership corralled by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross  — can transform Iraq from a geopolitical quagmire into a regional economic power.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Tunisia set for Trump-led economic boom as Hillary cabal makes hasty exit UPDATE

TUNIS/BALTIMORE (CI MENA) (Updating on March 14, 2017 to add The Carlyle Group Co-Founder and Co-CEO David Rubenstein) — Tunisia, the Arab world’s first democracy, is set for an unprecedented economic boom as the administration of President Donald Trump makes a clean sweep of a cabal of cronies tied his opponent and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

[Secretary of State and former Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XTO) Chairman and CEO Rex W. Tillerson speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass on mega mergers in oil and gas sector following United States Energy Association Energy meeting at National Press Club of Washington, DC. May 5, 2016]

Tunisia set the stage for its economic renaissance following the Tunisia 2020: Road to Inclusion, Sustainability and Efficiency donor and investment summit headlined by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin al-Thani and than French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and raising more than USD 8bn for public-private infrastructure projects, with USD 1.2bn from Qatar alone.

Notwithstanding President Barack Obama elevating Tunisia as America’s most strategic non-NATO US ally, the United States angered the Tunisian government headed by the country’s pro-American Prime Minister Youssef Chahed by sending an insultingly low-level US delegation to the conference.

On February 17, 2017, President Trump phoned Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi to “re-affirm” the historic US-Tunisian relationship and seek additional ways to cooperation between the two countries.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: OPEC breaks taboo over hedging activity by member states, Secretary-General HE Sanusi Barkindo

WASHINGTON (CI MENA) – – The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting  Countries (OPEC) seems to have broken a decades-old taboo of OPEC member states hedging their oil production during a visit by OPEC Secretary-General HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo to Washington, DC.

[Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) His Excellency Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo speaks to Capitol Intelligence/CI MENA using CI Glass with Hess Corporation CEO John Hess at CSIS in Washington, DC. December 13, 2016]

Secretary-General Barkindo said it remains the “sovereign” decision of each individual member to hedge their oil production but he is open to working with hedge funds, producers, the International Monetary Fund and customers to avoid massive volatility in oil prices in the future.

OPEC’s Barkindo statement that is up to the individual nation state to decide whether to hedge their output marks a radical departure from OPEC’s policy of basically prohibiting OPEC member states from using derivative markets to hedge oil prices. Mexico, a non-OPEC member, allows its state oil group Pemex to hedge the country’s annual oil output.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Tunisia seeks major new US investments on Washington, DC mission, Ministers say UPDATE

WASHINGTON/TUNIS (CI MENA) — (Updated on October 7,  2016 to  add Ford Motor Company Chairman William C. Ford, Jr and GE CEO Jeff Immelt) – A Tunisian delegation led by Tunisian Development and Investment Minister Fadhel Abdelkefi will be in Washington this week (October 6-10) seeking billions of dollars in investments for  the nation’s aviation, automotive, energy and textile sections by Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), FedEx (NYSE: FDX), and Honeywell  International (NYSE: HON).

[President Barack Obama and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi Oval Office filmed by Capitol Intelligence/Tunisia’s Express FM using CI Glass (Google Glass) at Oval Office. May 21, 2015. Express FM Chef de Service Khadija Sfar operated the CI Glass during Oval Office meeting.]

Tunisia’s strategic position as a stable and developed economy compared to its neighbors makes it attractive for  major corporations in the United States, Europe and Asia that want to tap a growth market of over 350m consumers in North/West Africa (NAWA)..

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Howard University Divinity School seen leading way for Islamic Finance in the US: UPDATE

BROOKLAND, Washington DC (CI MENA) — (Update on March 1, 2017 to add Assistant to President Donald Trump and White House Director of Communications for Public Liaison, Omarosa O. Manigault) Howard University’s School of Divinity School,  located in Washington DC’s unique Brookland neighborhood, could soon become a global center of excellence for the study and practice of Islamic finance in the United States.

[Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick, MD speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass on Howard University plans for Howard University School of Divinity located in Brookland, Northeast Washington, DC. June 17, 2016]

The Howard University School of Divinity is located on 22 acres of prime real estate in the Brookland neighborhood in Northeast Washington DC and is located next door to the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery representing Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the United States.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Kickapoo Tribe (KS) looks to make Topeka Regional Airport a global aircraft lease center, Kickapoo Chief

WASHINGTON (BBN)The Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas, a sovereign Native American nation, is exploring taking over the all but defunct Topeka Regional Airport (formerly Forbes Field) and transforming it into a global aircraft lease and servicing center, Kickapoo Tribe (KS) Chairman Lester Randall said.

[Kickapoo Tribe of the Kickapoo Reservation of Kansas Chairman Lester Randall speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass at White House Tribal Nation Conference with President Barack Obama. Nov 5, 2015]

During an interview on the sidelines at the White House Tribal Nations Conference hosted by President Barack Obama on November 5, 2015, Kickapoo Chief Randall said Indian Nations’ exemption from both Federal and State taxes would make the Kickapoo Tribe ideally suited to own an off-shore aircraft leasing center located in the Midwestern United States. Continue reading

CI VIEW: VICE Media’s Shane Smith and Nessma’s Ben Ammar lead way in news media Renaissance Update

 WASHINGTON/TUNIS (CI MENA) – (Updated September 16, 2015 to add interview with US Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) at Congressional Black Caucus Foundation ALC) – VICE Media LLC founder and CEO Shane Smith and Nessma owner Tarak Ben Ammar are quietly leading the way in bringing a veritable Renaissance to the often maligned news media industry.

[VICE Media founder and CEO Shane Smith speaking to Capitol Intelligence using Google Glass at The Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Forum. Washington, DC. Oct. 29, 2014.]

The tattooed journalist from Quebec has in a few short years transformed the Brooklyn-based VICE Media group into a USD 2.5bn plus company, with important minority shareholders such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) jointly owned A&E. Continue reading

CI VIEW: Prysmian still sees MENA/Africa as “next frontier” despite Iraq, Libya setbacks, CEO says UPDATE

 

CERNOBBIO/WASHINGTON (CI MENA) (Updating September 2, 2015 to add comments from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley) —  Prysmian Group (FTSE:PRY), the Milan-based leader in energy and telecommunications cables, still sees Africa and Middle East/North Africa as the “next frontier” of growth notwithstanding setbacks in Iraq and Libya, Prysmian Group CEO Valerio Battista said.

[Prysmian Group CEO Valerio Battista speaks to Capitol Intelligence using CI Glass at the Italian Infrastructure Day held at the Borsa Italiana in Milan on September 9, 2014.]

Battista said the group is already seeing good results from its Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire-based subsidiary Societe Sicable which manufacturers domestic electricity cables and is seeking to expand into Mozambique along with Italian oil major ENI (NYSE: E) and other major oil companies such as Woodlands, Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC). 

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Tunisia’s Essebsi wins personal support of President Obama and Penny Pritzker for economic Renaissance

WASHINGTON/TUNIS (CI MENA) — Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi succeeded in winning the personal support of US President Barack Obama and US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to make Tunisia —  the Arab world and Africa’s first pluralistic democracy — the model of how economic prosperity can defeat ISIS/Al Qaeda during his state visit to Washington on May 20-21, 2015.

[President Barack Obama and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi Oval Office filmed by Capitol Intelligence/Tunisia’s Express FM using CI Glass (Google Glass) at Oval Office. May 21, 2015. Express FM Chef de Service Khadija Sfar operated the CI Glass during Oval Office meeting.]

The terrorist attack that killed 38 tourists at the Tunisian beach resort of Sousse on June 26 and the attack at Bardo museum in Tunis killing 22 people were sophisticated operations aimed at crippling the Tunisian economy and at the same time attacking the United States for its support of the nascent North African democracy.

US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the scion of the billionaire Pritzker family of Chicago, used her personal contacts to arrange a Business Round table for President Essebsi at Blair House on May 20 attended by George Soros, Washington, DC-based Hilton Worldwide CEO Christopher J. Nassetta and listed US private giant KKR & Co (NYSE: KKR) principal General David Petreaus George Soros attended the Round Table in his capacity as the owner of Soros Fund Management and not as the head of numerous philanthropic organizations. 

Continue reading

CI View: Al-Naseem IPO plans could be key to Libya crisis, chairman says

TRIPOLI/WASHINGTON (CI MENA) — Al-Naseem for Food Industries, the Misurata, Libya-based privately held dairy group, is open to listing a minority stake on the Bourse de Tunis (Tunis Stock Exchange) to fund growth, company chairman Mohamed Raied said.

[Al-Naseem for Food Industries Chairman Mohamed Raied speaks with Capitol Intelligence/MENA using CI Glass at Al Waddan Hotel in Tripoli, Libya on March 3, 2015]

In an interview at the Al Waddan hotel Tripoli on March 3 2015, Raied said that he can consider floating a minority stake in the company to allow the group to expand its current operations and enter into new business segments such as fresh milk production and animal feed.

Continue reading