GCC mil­lion­aires bullish on UAE mar­ket

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

DUBAI: High net worth in­di­vid­u­als in the GCC voiced strong sen­ti­ments to­wards in­vest­ing in the UAE and Qatar while most of th­ese rich peo­ple with $2 mil­lion or more in in­vestable as­sets are up­beat about the long-term re­gional out­look, the lat­est GCC Wealth In­sight Re­port re­vealed.

Khaled Sifri, CEO of Emi­rates In­vest­ment Bank, which re­leased the re­port, said that amid a pe­riod of sig­nif­i­cant volatil­ity and de­pressed oil prices, con­fi­dence of HNWIs in mar­kets such as the UAE and Qatar re­mains very strong.

"With the global econ­omy cur­rently go­ing through a pe­riod of sig­nif­i­cant volatil­ity and with de­pressed oil prices, it comes as no sur­prise that this year's re­port is more som­bre than in pre­vi­ous years. How­ever, con­fi­dence in mar­kets such as the UAE and Qatar re­mains very strong. When tak­ing a longer-term view, HNWIs say they are op­ti­mistic about the Gulf re­gion as a whole. Con­sis­tent with pre­vi­ous years, the ma­jor­ity of GCC HNWI in­vestors pre­fer to in­vest in the re­gion over global mar­kets, de­spite any geopo­lit­i­cal con­cerns," Sifri said.

He said there is a clear shift to­wards con­ser­va­tive in­vest­ments, with GCC HNWIs ap­pear­ing to be more risk averse and adopt­ing a de­fen­sive ap­proach to their wealth al­lo­ca­tions. This is ev­i­denced in the no­table shift this year to­wards cash and de­posits as well as gold and pre­cious me­tals.

The re­port shows that GCC re­tains its ap­peal for HNWIs. Sim­i­lar to the 2015 re­port find­ings, a sig­nif­i­cant ma­jor­ity of HNWIs (76 per cent) pre­fer to keep their as­sets closer to home. Among HNWIs who pre­fer to keep their as­sets close to home, al­most half (47 per cent) say this is be­cause they are con­fi­dent that in­vest­ments in the re­gion are se­cure. Other rea­sons cited in­clude the abil­ity to over­see in­vest­ments (18 per cent) and fa­mil­iar­ity with the risks and reg­u­la­tions (16 per cent).

The wealth re­port, based on a sur­vey of HNWIs, said 36 per cent of the re­spon­dents see the re­gional econ­omy wors­en­ing, a four-fold in­crease from the nine per cent in 2015.

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