Region’s largest investment conference, Hedge Funds World Middle East, celebrating

Published November 25th, 2008 - 05:20 GMT

Region’s largest investment conference, Hedge Funds World Middle East, celebrating
10th Anniversary

Global Institutional Investors Looking At Allocating Funds to Middle East Capital Markets and Fund Managers Targeting SWFs and Family Offices

Over US$ 1 trillion Arab Investments in Global Markets

(Dubai- 25 November 2008) - The Hedge Funds industry, which could face additional tremors following the financial turmoil in US capital markets, is looking Eastwards both for investing and for getting allocations, according to a survey conducted by Terrapinn, organiser of Hedge Funds World Middle East Conference, now in its 10th year.

The survey, which was conducted amongst more than 820 institutional investors and fund managers from around the world and the Middle East, showed that more than half of  international institutional investors, or 53%, are looking to allocate to Middle East-based hedge funds.

International fund managers are also actively focused on getting allocations from the region. 83% are actively targeting family offices and 75% Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs.)

Symon Rubens, Managing Director of Terrapinn in the Middle East says: “The industry is forecasting challenges ahead, and today more than ever, investors and fund managers need to be looking at risks and opportunities that the current global financial environment is presenting them with. The Hedge Funds World Middle East conference is the ideal platform for them to engage in an original and provocative dialogue about what this means to the Middle East, both from an investor’s as well as a fund manager’s point of view.”    

The survey demonstrated that even with the oil price well below previous peaks, the global transfer of wealth from West to East continues to have a significant impact on the funds controlled by Middle East investors.  “The GCC equity markets now appear on the radar screen of every large global investor, and many of the international investors flocking to Dubai for Hedge Funds World Middle East are also on a mission to find local fund managers to help them take advantage of lower prices and build up their fledgling Middle East exposure,” adds Symon Rubens.

“We have seen global hedge fund managers starting to flock to the region. Recently two major players listed on Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX,)” says Symon Rubens. The survey showed that 74% of respondents believed Dubai to be the hub for the Middle East hedge fund industry. 

Local investors already hold well over $1 trillion in overseas assets, and as sophistication grows, many are now actively diversifying into alternative investments.

The Conference, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the Arab region next year, is the largest investment conference in the Middle East. It will take place from 10 to 12 March 2009 at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai and will host some of the world’s Hedge Funds legends such as John Paulson of Paulson & Co, Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors, Ian Wace of Marshall Wace and Joseph DiMenna of Zweig DiMenna. Other speakers include Maha Al-Ghunaim, Chair and Managing Director of Global Investment House, who is ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the world's 100 most powerful women, and ranked the second most powerful woman in the Middle East, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman,Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (UAE) and Kevin Birkett, Director of Asset and Fund Management at the Dubai International Financial Centre (UAE), amongst others.

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