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Gulf-based Sovereign Wealth Funds, Family Offices increasingly interested in alternative investments

05-15-2012 08:35 PM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: Opalesque Ltd

The total assets under management of all Sovereign Wealth Funds globally is today estimated at around USD $4.6 trillion. While most of them are active in the fixed income and equity space which they manage internally and externally through specialized portfolio managers, going forward we will see increasing interest for alternative investments from these players.

Their need for diversification, increased yield in the current low interest rate environment, increasing sophistication, together with the fact that they are uniquely placed to deploy long term capital, makes them well placed to continue and increase their investment programs in infrastructure, private equity, hedge funds and real estate.

When international investors come to the region, their initial focus often seems to be the UAE and Qatar. These are good entry points into the regional markets, but according to the participants of the inaugural Opalesque Gulf Roundtable, people should not overlook the larger market, Saudi Arabia.

In addition, a number of family offices are operating from the Gulf, often from the financial free zones like the DIFC. Of course, these family offices and sovereign wealth funds such as Mubadala, ADIA, ADIC, QIA, Qatari Diar, PIF are continually looking at investment opportunities globally, but also the nascent domestic asset management industry is growing stronger each day.

Hear from:
1. Zeeshan Ahmedani, Partner, White & Case
2. Bhisham Manraj, Head of Middle East and North Africa, Sovereign Wealth Funds - FICC Solutions, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
3. Adam Sender, Assistant General Manager, Investment Banking & Corporate Finance GCC, Samba Financial Group
4. Renaud Huck, Senior VP, Eurex
5. Uwe Eberle, Managing Director, Van Eck Global

... background and facts about:

• Given that the SWFs' capital is not subject to regulations like Basel and Solvency II, what are some of the unique opportunities these investors target?
• What is behind the Qatari Royal Family's $ 10 billion investment in gold producers?
• Can “unconventional oil” threaten the Gulf states in the long run?
• How do the global regulatory changes affect the Middle East?
• Are the financial free zones like the DIFC in Dubai or the QFC in Qatar a success?
• What is the reputation of UCITS funds in the Gulf?
• How important is the Sharia compliant finance sector?

The Opalesque Gulf Roundtable was sponsored by Van Eck Global and Eurex and took place in April 2012 in Abu Dhabi.

The Opalesque Roundtable Series highlights fundamental developments within the global hedge fund and alternative investment industry, a full archive with over 70 Roundtable scripts can be accessed here:

Matthias Knab, founder of Opalesque and internationally recognized expert on hedge funds and alternatives, moderates the Opalesque Roundtables.

About Opalesque:
In 2003, with the publication of its daily Alternative Market Briefing, Opalesque successfully launched an information revolution in the hedge fund media space: "Opalesque changed the world by bringing transparency where there was opacity and by delivering an accurate professional reporting service." - Nigel Blanchard, Culross. This hybrid financial news service, which combines proprietary industry news stories and filtered third party reports, has been credited by many industry insiders with delivering precise, accurate, and vital information to a notoriously guarded audience.

Each week, Opalesque sends out over 700, 000 editions of its eighteen publications to a global readership in over 170 countries. Opalesque is the only daily hedge fund publisher which is actually read by the elite managers themselves (

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