Date: 12th November 2019 Venue: JW Marriott Kuwait City

According to the Institute of International Finance (IIF), global debt has risen by US$150 trillion over the past 15 years reaching US$247 trillion as of the first quarter of 2018. Compare this to global GDP, which in 2017 was US$80.7 trillion according to the World Bank. This rapid rise in debt coupled with deteriorating economic indicators is worrying international investors and forcing them to seek safer investment alternatives in order to weather the storm they believe is inevitable.

For investors in the GCC region these developments are only magnified when adding in geopolitical tensions, trade wars and the high volatility of oil prices. These investors have long been diversifying their investments outside the region, with a particular interest in the developed markets in Europe and the U.S. They have historically preferred these investments for safety, security and long-term growth opportunities.

Today, GCC investors’ interest in protecting and preserving their wealth is the highest it has been in recent memory. Over the past few years, we have noticed a marked shift in investment preferences. Prior to 2008, GCC investors were investing heavily within the region, particularly in real estate and private equity. In 2018, interest has shifted towards safer investments in real estate in their home countries as well as income-generating real estate in the U.K., Germany and the U.S. There are also a growing number of technology investors in the region who have been investing in fintech-related investments as well as healthcare and medical technology.

Firms raising capital around the world have taken notice of GCC investors changing investment preferences and high demand for international investment opportunities. Reaching these investors and decision-makers, however, has proven to be challenging. The traditional methods of reaching these investors has become less accessible, such as using third-party placement agents, direct sales agents, roadshows and advertisements. Instead, these investors are looking to invest by building long-term relationships with people they can trust. The best time to start building these relationships is now.



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