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UAE Seen as Investor Favourite While Yanbu Set For SR 80Mn in Investments and Qatar Bidding for Top Investor Spot

Middle East : 01 March 2013

Recent Survey Finds That Investors Favour the UAE

The MENA Asset Management Survey named the UAE as the investor favourite, along with Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Jordan, Lebanon and Syria garnered negative outlooks.

This latest survey, conducted by FTSE Global Markets, noted that lower levels of political risk and enhanced market liquidity continue to be important to investors.

Ninety institutional investors from twelve nations in the region highlighted concerns regarding political unrest and a desire to encourage liberalization. The survey also focused on investors’ risk assessment in the area. According to the survey, higher levels of risk are factored into investor sentiment.

Investors showed the least amount of concern for the UAE, according to the survey results, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar following. Investors have the most concern for the nations of Syria, due to political risk factors, followed by Lebanon and Jordan.

In terms of high growth market to high growth market capital flows, there has also been a noticeable increase. But fragmentation of liquidity is keeping potential growth lower in regional stock exchanges.

Survey results also indicate that asset and market allocation are shifting rapidly. Previous trends have seen private equity investments and bonds favoured. Now the market contains a wider selection of investments, such as EFTs, money market funds, hedge funds and mutual funds.

The results of this quarterly study indicated that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as the UAE, are gaining in popularity with investors.

Capital mobilizes around the region, influenced by liquidity rising in localized areas, a tempering of political risks and access to more complex risk management methods and collateral. This region is set to embark on a new era, according to the survey findings.

Following the asset management industry’s evolution within MENA is a goal of this survey. It looks at how various factors, including regional and macro factors, continue to affect asset allocation, infrastructure and solutions within the business world.

SR 80Bn in New Investments Marked for Yanbu

Yanbu expects to see SR 80 billion in new investments come into the industrial city throughout the coming years, according to a Royal Commission senior official.

The investment was announced during a recent reception at King Fahd Cultural Center. A presentation covered the objectives of the Royal Commission, details on Yanbu, the city’s major industries and facilities currently being offered to industrialists and investors by the Royal Commission.

Yanbu Governor Ibrahim Al-Sultan and Dr Ala bin Abdullah Naseef were on hand to receive Prince Faisal bin Salman. The prince also took the time to visit the Yanbu facilities of Saudi Aramco. Senior VP for Refinery & Marketing, Abdul Rahman Al-Wohaib, received the prince there.

Attendees viewed a documentary on the history of Aramco that also covered the company’s progress, community activities and economic contributions. Nationalization efforts were also explained. Saudi Aramco was featured in the documentary as one of the leading global oil companies.

Briefs outlining Aramco’s work developing the men and women of Saudi Arabia were shown to the prince. The firm uses various programs to realize the value of Saudi’s natural resources—people.

Aramco also invests in renewable energy, eco-friendly technology and alternative resources, as outlined to Prince Faisal. The prince paid a visit to Yansab as well, was received there by director Osama Basheikh and presented with information on the firm’s achievements and activities.

The prince visited Yanbu’s desalination plant and met with Dr Abdul Rahman Al-Ibrahim, Saline Water Conversion Corp’s governor. Dr Al-Ibrahim spoke to the prince about capacities and the company’s continued effort to address drinking water supply for all residents of the Madinah region.

Qatar to Be Promoted as Top Centre for Trade

A consultancy company has partnered with the Qatar Chamber in promoting the nation as a leading destination for international investors. A MoU (or memorandum of understanding) was signed with Inside Investor, a renowned investment consulting firm and provider of business information.

Inside Investor intends to work with several chambers of commerce in a bid to promote Qatar, with the MENA region and ASEAN (or the Association of South East Asian Nations) becoming the major focus.

Director general of Qatar Chamber, Remy Rowhani, noted that investors require updated information sources for details on business opportunities and economic data.

Inside Investor is set to publish an economic report entitled “Inside MENA 2013.” Support for this report, which features Qatar in a key role, is included in the MoU.

Inside Investor also hosted a forum last October, supported by Qatar’s PM HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani. Hundreds of firms and delegates from the MENA region and South East Asia came to the forum. They were presented with opportunities and firms found in Qatar.

Inside Investor CEO Kamran Saddique noted that his firm remains in a key position, set to benefit Qatar by capitalizing growth in the South East Asia region. He noted that current clients are interested in investing in the Qatari market. Also, Saddique noted that local entrepreneurs have the opportunity to invest in other MENA or ASEAN nations.

Inside Investor has built links with several media organizations, besides the Qatar Chamber, for the World Chambers Congress. Saddique noted that his firm has a wide variety of ways promote Qatar as a nation and Qatari firms as part of a thriving industry.

An online portal through Inside Investors presents various case studies, business guides, outlooks and national and regional research, as well as interviews with several public and private sector leaders. Attracting visitors by the tens of thousands, provides governments and investors with up-to-date news and data on any corporate matters in region.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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