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GCC investor confidence rises in August

 The UAE and Qatar drove improvements in investor confidence in the GCC in August.Investor sentiment in the GCC improved in August with the UAE and Qatar driving the increase in optimism, a new report published on Monday revealed.

Shuaa Capital’s August GCC Investor Sentiment Index, which polls both international and regional investors, showed a 2.7 percent rise, compared to July although it was still below the level recorded in June.

Commenting on the Index findings, Oliver Schutzmann, chief communications officer of Shuaa Capital and author of the Investor Sentiment Report, said: “The results show that after the dip last month in the confidence index, we are again moving in a more positive direction.

“Although only a 2.7 percent gain, it is nonetheless a good sign and the small change is not surprising given that August is traditionally a quiet month.”

He added that the UAE and Qatar were the main drivers in the Index with the UAE up 4.3 percent, with 17 percent of investors responding positively about the current state of the country’s economy.

Schutzmann added: “The significant improvement in the overall GCC Investor Confidence Index was largely driven by a positive shift in the balance of investors’ perceptions of current regional economic conditions. In August this figure moved to 1.5 percent from -15 percent last month.

“The six month investor outlook for the GCC economy remains positive this month…The GCC is now ahead of both BRICs [Brazil, Russia, India, China] and Global Emerging Markets.”
The report also showed that there had been a surge in confidence towards the retail and consumer sector in the Gulf region, although pharmaceuticals remained the most likely to show healthy profits in the next six months. Telecoms and media were also sectors favoured by investors.

On GCC stock markets, Schutzmann said: “Investors still think stock markets across most of the GCC remain undervalued with the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange being the most undervalued.”

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