Saudi advances feature heavily in Invesco’s 6th Middle East Asset Management Study

The opening of the Saudi Stock Exchange to foreign institutional investors in June 2015 has had a significant effect on capital flows in the GCC region, according to the sixth annual Middle East Asset Management Study from Invesco.

The study is based on qualitative answers from some 167 interviews with sovereign wealth funds, state pension funds, local insurers, family offices, banks and IFAs.

Key findings include the shift in regional investor attitudes towards the UAE and Bahrain, which last year were perceived more as safe havens, but since have been subject to factors such as geopolitical changes, which have increased the relative attractiveness of Saudi Arabia.

Investors have responded positive to the opening of the Saudi capital amrkets, including the Tadawul, the local stock market, to international investors. This move is seen as a first step towards market liberalisation and additional reforms, the study suggests. The performance of the local stock market over the past year, and opportunities to participate in IPOs have also attracted investors.

Nick Tolchard, head of Invesco Middle East, said: “Our conversations in the region show that whilst there has been optimism surrounding the regional economy and capital markets,  concerns such as the oil price and government finances persist. Whilst things can change quickly in the Middle East, it will be interesting to see if positive sentiment amongst local, especially Saudi, investors translates into reality over the next 12 months and whether the anticipated effects of the opening of capital markets take hold.”

Jonathan Boyd
Editorial Director of Open Door Media Publishing Ltd, and Editor of InvestmentEurope. Jonathan has over two decades of media experience in Japan, Australia, Canada and the UK. Over the past 17 years he has been based in London writing about funds and investments. From editing the newsletter of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Japan in the 1990s he now focuses on Nordic markets for InvestmentEurope. Jonathan was awarded Editor of the Year at the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) Independent Publisher Awards 2017. Shortlisted for the same in 2016, he was also shortlisted in 2017 and 2015 for the broader PPA Awards category Editor of the Year (Business Media).

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