Businessmen and investors in the UAE are more optimistic about the state of the country's economy than their counterparts across the globe about their respective domestic economies, a survey showed.
In the UAE, 84 per cent of high net worth individuals and business owners take an optimistic stance on the state of their economy, almost unchanged compared to last quarter's results, according to UBS Global Wealth Management's new quarterly Investor Sentiment survey. The study of 3,899 investors and business owners with at least $1 million in investable assets showed that 81 per cent of UAE investors are bullish on regional stocks.
"By comparison, investors globally expressed much lower levels of optimism on their domestic economies and stock markets. Fifty-nine per cent were optimistic on the domestic economy in the most recent quarter, and 55 per cent expressed bullish views on local stocks," the Swiss bank said.
A recent report by EY said the UAE recorded the highest inbound investment in the Mena region, with 20 deals amounting to $14.4 billion in first half 2019, underscoring investor confidence in the economy.
The oil and gas sector was the top target sector for inbound activity, accounting for $10.8 billion. Four out of the six inbound deals in the sector were in the UAE, including three mega deals, involving Adnoc's stake sale in its oil refining and pipeline business, according to EY.
Cedric Lizin, head of UBS Wealth Management Dubai, said the survey shows clearly that investors in the UAE are among the world's most optimistic when it comes to their local economy. "However, we believe it is now important to translate that optimism into actual market participation, as opposed to cash holdings."
UBS also recommends investors to continue to put money to work in a diversified portfolio, holding a positive overall stance on stocks for the rest of 2019.
The survey, which polled more than 3,800 wealthy investors and entrepreneurs in 17 countries, shows UAE investors rank cybersecurity as one of their top concerns, with 48 per cent seeing it as a major worry.
Among global investors, the current trade war was one of the top concerns, cited by 46 per cent of respondents - up seven percentage points quarter-over-quarter - at par with local politics, also cited by 46 per cent of respondents. Cybersecurity was the third-most common worry with 43 per cent.
Latin American investors are the most optimistic in their economic outlook (76 per cent) and are the most bullish on their region's own stocks - 77 per cent - with Asia ranking second in the world at 60 per cent in terms of economic optimism, with 56 per cent expressing optimism in their local market outlook.
When it comes to risks, the top three concerns among Asian investors are a global trade war (47 per cent), the country's long-term competitiveness (43 per cent) and cybersecurity (43 per cent).
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