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UAE Investment Abroad Surges; Combined Value of Assets Reach $2.5 Trillion

UAE has solidified its standing in the global economy, says Secretary-General of the UAE International Investors Council

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on March 25, 2024, 15:22:09

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UAE investments abroad are thriving amidst global economic fluctuations. According to Jamal Bin Saif Al Jarwan, Secretary-General of the UAE International Investors Council (UAEIIC), the nation is diversifying its investment portfolio to safeguard future generations with lucrative and sustainable projects, showcasing robust economic stewardship and a dedication to growth and collaboration.

"The UAE has solidified its standing in the global economy. The combined value of UAE assets overseas, encompassing both public and private sectors, has reached $2.5 trillion as of early 2024. This positions the UAE as a leader in the Arab region and West Asia, ranking 15th globally and second worldwide in identifying new investment opportunities," Al Jarwan said.

Speaking to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Jarwan outlined that the United States leads the pack, attracting $65 billion in bonds and $50 billion in direct investments. Egypt closely follows with $65 billion, while the United Kingdom and India each draw $40 billion in direct investments. Morocco sees $30 billion, with Europe emerging as a promising future destination due to its currency stability.

"Currently, our operations span across 90 countries. I anticipate our focus to remain on countries such as India, Indonesia, ASEAN nations, Egypt, Morocco, Central Asian countries, Britain, France, Germany, the United States, Canada, and select Eastern European countries, notably Serbia, Greece, and Turkey," Al Jarwan noted.

Discussing ownership and capital distribution, the UAEIIC Secretary-General elucidated that Emirati investments globally are primarily divided among sovereign wealth funds, comprising 72 per cent, with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) playing a pivotal role, alongside entities like Mubadala Investment Company, Investment Corporation of Dubai, Emirates Investment Authority and Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company PJSC or ADQ.

He highlighted that the UAE boasts seven sovereign wealth funds with assets surpassing two trillion dollars, followed by government-owned and quasi-governmental corporations at 18 per cent, UAE banks at 2.5 per cent, and family-owned and private enterprises at 7.5 per cent.

Al Jarwan pointed out significant recent deals, including the acquisition of UniVar Solutions, headquartered in the UAE, by American asset management company Apollo Global Management and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for US$8.2 billion.

He also cited the Canadian Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec's acquisition of a 22 per cent stake in DP World, including Jebel Ali Free Zone and National Industries Park, and Jebel Ali Port for US$5 billion.

Among notable transactions is the acquisition by the "e&" group and its subsidiary "Atlas 2022 Holdings" of a 9.8 per cent stake in the British Vodafone group for $4.4 billion, and ADNOC's acquisition of 24.9 per cent of the Austrian oil and gas company "OMV AG" from a local sovereign wealth fund affiliated with Mubadala for $4.1 billion. Al Jarwan added, "A significant deal worth $35 billion, Ras El-Hekma, underscores the growing trend of cross-border deals."

He disclosed that UAE investments totaled $1.9 billion from 1991 to 2000, escalating to $53.6 billion from 2001 to 2010. This resulted in a cumulative balance of Emirati investments abroad reaching $240 billion by the end of 2022, compared to $215 billion in 2021.

Regarding annual flows, he clarified that UAE's investment flow abroad surged in 2022, reaching $24.833 billion, a 10 per cent increase from 2021's $22.546 billion.

Additionally, the UAE ascended to the 15th position globally in investment flows to world countries in 2022, compared to the 20th spot in 2021, as per a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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