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25 Oct 2007

UAE Investors To Increase Hedge Fund Holdings

Private investors in the United Arab Emirates plan to increase their holdings in alternative investments such as private equity, hedge funds and derivatives in the next three years, according to a new global report published by Barclays Wealth.

However, fewer than half of UAE investors polled expressed confidence in their knowledge of personal finance, hedge funds and private equity.

The report, 'Barclays Wealth Insights: Risk, Return and Reward', reveals that investors with at least $100,000 in investable assets plan to put more money into alternative investments over the next three years, as they seek more absolute returns.

The report reveals a trend amongst these investors of an increasing appetite for financial products which help reduce volatility, such as derivatives, private equity and hedge funds, particularly in the Middle East and Asia. At the same time, there is a move away from equities, which suggests investors have more of an appetite for returns that are stable rather than driven by market movements.

The survey, based on a global sample of 790 respondents that includes 100 individuals from the UAE, shows that 41% of UAE investors plan to invest in hedge funds in the next three years compared with the past three years (32%), according to the report.

Soha Nashaat, Managing Director and Head of Middle East at Barclays Wealth said, "Assets like hedge funds,... can all be used to manage risk, reduce volatility and stabilize results. Shariah-compliant products are of particular interest, as they are viewed in absolute return terms as well. The region has seen huge development in the Islamic finance sector in recent years and this is rapidly filtering through to the asset management arena, where considerable product development is now taking place."