Investing in the Middle East and Africa - TheStreet

The iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund's (EZA) - Get Report second largest stock holding (behind Sasol Limited (SSL) - Get Report) is Africa's large mobile telecom operator MTN Group (listed on the Johannesburg exchange, with no ADR).

Monday, the

Financial Times

reported that

Bharti Airtel

(listed on the Bombay exchange, with no ADR), India's mobile phone leader, made a multi-billion dollar bid for a 51% stake in MTN.

Thursday,

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

said it was moving its co-head of investment banking to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

With all this recent activity in the Middle East and Africa, what do you need to know about investing in these two regions of the world?

The following are several perspectives from

TheStreet.com

on investing in the Middle East and Africa.

Is Dubai the New Financial Hot Spot?

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From

Vodafone-Apple, Then Faster iPhone?

:

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

said Tuesday

May 6 that it has signed an agreement with

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

that will bring the iPhone to 10 new markets before the end of 2008... Vodafone customers in Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey will be able to purchase the iPhone for use on the Vodafone network.

Read the full article.

From

Citi Shifts Investment Banking Head to Dubai

:

Alberto Verme will continue to head the bank's investment banking unit with Ray McGuire, who remains based in New York. The emphasis on the Middle East comes on the heels of substantial investments in the reeling bank from the region, including capital infusions from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the Kuwait Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal since November.

"Citi has been in the Middle East for more than 50 years, and we want our clients in the region and around the world to know we are convinced of the region's long-term and immense growth opportunities," Citi CEO Vikram Pandit said in a company statement. "I am extremely pleased that Alberto will bring his unique experience and impressive track record of business building and client service to this critical opportunity."

Read the full article.

Plus, don't miss "

A Closer Look at Sovereign Wealth Funds

."

From

Africa: The Potential Opportunities in Energy and Telecom

:

Euvin Naidoo, president and CEO of the South African Chamber of Commerce in America, noted that with the world pushing for alternative sources of energy such as windmills or geothermal power, it will be easier to develop and implement these new technologies from scratch in Africa than to impose them on the entrenched power grid in the West... Stephen Jennings, the billionaire founder of Moscow brokerage Renaissance Capital, told

Naidoo

Russia's

emergence was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that "Africa is a second once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." (According to media reports earlier this year, Jennings is doubling his investment in Africa to $1 billion.)

Read the full article.

From

How Arab Economies Cope With Globalization

:

Currently, the big issue for most of the developing countries is that they want to become part of the world trading system. A large part of this system is dominated by production and buyer networks. A production network might be thought of as

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

assigning individual products -- such as keyboards, monitors and a motherboard -- to a variety of its sites throughout the world and putting them all together on the

UPS

(UPS) - Get Report

truck in the U.S. You also have buyer-led networks such as

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

, which orders a lot of products and knows a great deal about how and where these are produced. These networks are now exceedingly important. It's arguable that 60% to 80% of international trade is now accounted for by these buyer and seller networks.

Read the full article.

In addition to the MSCI South Africa Index Fund, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the performance of companies in the Middle East and Africa is the

SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa ETF

(GAF)

. The current top two individual stock holdings in this ETF are

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

(TEVA) - Get Report

and MTN.

To stay up to date on investment opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and other emerging markets, visit

TheStreet.com's

Playing Emerging Markets section

.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.