GCC states hold $1.5 trillion in private liquidity
The private liquidity in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) is in excess of $2.3 trillion - of which some $1.5 trillion is in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.
This is the so-called new money, created by the oil price bonanza, the real estate boom, and investments in the equities markets, according to the Boston Consulting Group, quoted by the Arab News.
Other studies suggest that the number of millionaires in the MENA region with more than $1 million to invest is growing at an annual rate of 3 percent.
Another major development is Islamic private banking and discretionary portfolio management, Islamic trust administration and Islamic estate management.
In the post-9/11 environment, Arab and Muslim investors prefer Swiss and British banks whom they perceive as more responsive to their investment needs. Arab and Muslim investors resent the new immigration regulations in the US which they perceive as being discriminatory and targetting anyone with an Arabic sounding name.
They are also wary of the freezing of assets of Arab investors by the US authorities. Arab capital has seen some repatriation from the US to markets in the UK and Europe. Most Arab invested assets in the US are in long-term treasury papers, private equity buyouts and in real estate development. This takes time to divest even if they wanted to. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)