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Due Diligence in the Middle East and North Africa region

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region provides a challenging environment for conducting business, where potential rewards and risks have to be carefully assessed. With the region's political power structure in constant flux since the "Arab Spring" in 2011, integrity due diligence in the MENA region has become even more vital than before, with so much of the economic infrastructure having ties to the former regimes.

Challenges of investigative due diligence in the Arab World

Registration records and other basic background information are not always readily available in the Arab world, so a thorough review of other open source materials - including the internet and the media - is crucial.

Due diligence investigations in the Middle East and North Africa should always be conducted in the local language(s), as well as in English as the global business language. In the francophone countries of the Maghreb region, French language research in addition to Arabic and English is a matter of necessity.

Regional knowledge

At Maddocks Insight, we have both the linguistic capabilities in Arabic and French and the geopolitical expertise to conduct investigative due diligence in all the Arabic-speaking countries of the region:

Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE) (including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the other Emirates), Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and Chad.

Specific features of MENA due diligence research

Some of the special points to keep in mind when performing integrity due diligence in the Arab world are:

  • Sanctions against terrorist-related targets - it is absolutely essential to identify any links of the subject companies, their directors or owners to entities or individuals that have been designated on the various terrorist sanction lists.
  • Sanctions against Iran and Syria - with a lot of trade between Arab countries, it is important to find out whether the subject companies, their directors or owners engage in trade with countries under sanctions, such as Syria or Iran.
  • Links to former regimes - with the demise of some of the authoritarian regimes in the MENA region, links held by the subject companies and their principals to former government officials need to be analysed carefully, as such links may adversely affect the companies' future operations in the country and the region.
  • While there has been an explosion of new and critical news outlets in countries that have removed their authoritarian regimes, many of the Arab countries are still under the de facto rule of monarchies or authoritarian governments. In the latter instances, it is absolutely vital that alternative sources of information to the media are fully covered. This can include blogs, twitter, facebook, opposition websites operated from abroad etc.

Please contact us today to discuss your due diligence research needs in the Middle East or North Africa.

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