UAE remains top destination to do business

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UAE remains top destination to do business

DUBAI - Investor confidence in Gulf countries fell in April, but the UAE remains the most attractive place for investment in the region, a new research by Dubai-based Shuaa Capital revealed.

By Abdul Basit

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Published: Tue 18 May 2010, 11:16 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:08 AM

Shuaa Capital on Monday issued its GCC Investor Sentiment Report, the only report of its kind for Gulf markets. The GCC Investor Sentiment Index slipped by 7.7 points in April, although remained very much in positive territory at 113.1.

The decline also came from the year’s highest Index level in March of 120.8 after Dubai World and its unit Nakheel presented restructuring proposals to creditors which were broadly welcomed by the market.

“Given the integration of the GCC into the global economy in recent years, it comes as no surprise that the GCC is impacted by economic challenges stemming from Europe and North America, resulting in a decline in investor confidence,” Shuaa CEO Sameer Al Ansar.

The dip in the GCC Index was largely driven by Saudi Arabia and Oman, as their indices dropped by 7.9 and 4.6 points to 128.4 and 112.1 points respectively. Again, both indices did come from a relatively high level.

“Survey participants view UAE stocks as so increasingly undervalued, which shows that investors have faith in the long-term fundamentals of the Emirates. Investors were also asked where they would be putting their money over the next six months and again the UAE came out on top. The UAE was the only destination with a positive figure in April, rising 15.3 per cent to 22.4 per cent on balance,” Oliver Schutzmann, author of the Investor Sentiment Report, said.

Bahrain was this month’s biggest gainer, as its Investor Confidence Index rose by 2.4 points to reach 106 points, the highest on record since November 2009. Elsewhere across the region, all other indices remained relatively flat with the UAE index dipping by just 1 point to 119.4 points and Kuwait’s by 0.6 points to reach 103.9. Qatar has seen a slight increase of 0.4 points, to lead the region and has the highest regional Index at 131.9 points.

Investors expressed that a range of regional and international markets are undervalued and that GCC markets were the most attractive. The Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange led the way with an on balance1 figure of 56.9 per cent, up 22.4 per cent on March. Another market in positive territory in April was the Dubai Financial Market which, for the second time running, was the month’s biggest gainer as it moved from 25 per cent in March to 51.7 per cent on balance in the latest report. The Nasdaq Dubai was also a positive mover during last month as it gained 10 per cent to 20.7 per cent on balance.

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