BANKING: The Gnomes of Araby

Reflecting the deep distrust that Arabs once felt for banks, the Sheik of Abu Dhabi ten years ago stashed his oil money in the dungeon of his palace, where he could keep an eye on it—even though rats kept nibbling away at his profits. Now the rich gush of oil cash into Abu Dhabi and such other Arab states as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Libya has forced a change of attitude.

Laden with great wealth, the Arabs are turning into bankers themselves and becoming a major force in world finance.

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