The total assets under management of all Sovereign Wealth Funds globally is around $4.6trn and they are increasingly interested in alternative investments, according to discussion recorded at an Opalesque Gulf Round Table.
While most are active in fixed income and equities, which they manage internally and externally through specialized portfolio managers, there is a growing need for diversification and increased yield in the current low interest rate environment.
Increasing sophisticated, these funds are uniquely placed to deploy long term capital, and to continue and increase their investment programs in infrastructure, private equity, hedge funds and real estate.
When international investors come to the region, their initial focus often seems to be the UAE and Qatar, the discussion suggested. While these are good entry points into the regional markets, participants said people should not overlook the larger market, Saudi Arabia.
A growing number of family offices are operating from the Gulf, often from the financial free zones like the Dubai International Financial Centre. These private investors, as well as sovereign wealth funds such as Mubadala, ADIA, ADIC, QIA, Qatari Diar, PIF are also starting to look at the nascent domestic asset management industry, which is growing stronger each day.
Among the participants at the Round Table were Zeeshan Ahmedani, Partner at White & Case, Bhisham Manraj, Head of Middle East and North Africa, Sovereign Wealth Funds - FICC Solutions, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Adam Sender, Assistant General Manager, Investment Banking & Corporate Finance GCC, Samba Financial Group, Renaud Huck, Senior VP at Eurex and Uwe Eberle, Managing Director at Van Eck Global.
The full Opalesque Gulf Round Table discussion is available here: Opalesque Gulf Roundtable
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