Optimism Among Middle East CFOs Hits Two-Year Low

Optimism Among Middle East CFOs Hits Two-Year Low

The level of optimism among chief financial officers in the Middle East plummeted to a two-year low during the fourth quarter of 2011, largely due to social issues and risks associated with business dealings.

In Deloitte's Q4 2011 Global

The level of optimism among chief financial officers in the Middle East plummeted to a two-year low during the fourth quarter of 2011, largely due to social issues and risks associated with business dealings.

In Deloitte's Q4 2011 Global CFO Signals Report, researchers found a net 68 percent of CFOs in the Middle East reported an above average level of economic and financial uncertainty regarding their personal businesses.

Still, James Babb, CFO program leader at Deloitte in the Middle East, said that the region's economy may not be that bad in comparison to the rest of the world.

"While CFO optimism in the Middle East has declined, the economic fundamentals of the region remain strong, relative to other parts of the world," Babb said. "It is the prospect of unexpected events or ‘Black Swans’ which weigh heavily on the minds of CFOs at the moment."

According to the Dubai Chronicle, M&A activity is also expected to decline among Middle East businesses. A net of only 40 percent of finance chiefs reported an anticipated increase in M&A activity over the next 12 months, down from 63 percent in the first quarter, the survey found.