Dubai – “ASWAQ”
GCC’s high net worth individuals (HNWIs) are confident of investing in the UAE and Qatar, amid significant volatility and depressed oil prices. Most of the HNWIs with US$2 million or more in investable assets have strong sentiments and are upbeat about the long-term regional outlook, as reported in the latest ‘GCC Wealth Insight’ report.
Khaled Sifri, CEO of Emirates Investment Bank(Shown in the picture above), said “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.”
The report revealed that there is a clear shift towards conservative investments, with GCC HNWIs seemingly more risk averse and defensive in their approach to wealth allocation, as evidenced in the notable shift this year towards cash and deposits as well as gold and precious metals.
The report also shows that, 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, 47 per cent say they are confident that investments in the region are secure. Other reasons mentioned include the ability to oversee investments (18 per cent) and familiarity with the risks and regulations (16 per cent).
In summary, most HNWIs showed a clear shift towards conservative investments, having raised their average allocation to cash and deposits up to 24 per cent from 17 per cent in 2015, with 62 per cent of HNWIs expecting to increase this allocation in the forthcoming years.