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TMCNet:  Regional CFO optimism trends [SME Advisor Middle East]

[December 15, 2013]

Regional CFO optimism trends [SME Advisor Middle East]

(SME Advisor Middle East Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The latest edition of Deloitte's Global CFO Signals report revealed that optimism amongst CFOs in the Middle East has weakened over the past year. The report further stated that a net 41 per cent of Middle East CFOs feel more optimistic about the prospects for their companies, in comparison to a net 54 per cent recorded a year ago.

Gulf countries, however, ranked higher than surrounding North African and Levant countries, in terms of optimism. Optimism among surveyed CFOs in Syria fell by 13 per cent, while finance chiefs in the UAE reported a net 75 per cent increase.

Only a net two per cent of CFOs reported their companies are carrying higher cash balances compared with a year ago, when a net 23 per cent reported the same last year. While 75 per cent of CFOs were predominantly concerned with market risk last year, that number has declined to 39 per cent, with strategic, operational, and financial risks all becoming a prevalent concern, reflecting the general uncertainty in the environment.

Moreover, when asked about their companies' business-continuity plans, one in four CFOs in the Middle East said they still did not have a plan in place despite the increased instability in the region. Middle East CFOs were also found to favour expansion in their own region over other parts of the world.

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