Category Archives: Asset Management

Financial reality more important than predictions UAE assets under management only 9% of Bahrain's according to DIFC

About a year ago I wrote about the UAE as a financial center and in particular compared it to Singapore. The article states: Let’s go back to Singapore with a GDP of $293 billion and population of 5.5 million versus our GDP of $371 billion and population of 9 million. So not only is their…

Your stop loss orders aren’t guaranteed to protect you

Speaking of trading, I want to talk about certain trading misconceptions. I recently talked about the liquidity trap that some investors were getting themselves into when investing in illiquid stocks. The issue is not an investment issue but a trading issue that can greatly affect the overall IRR. In discussions about this trading trap some…

Buying bitcoins is going long bitcoin deflation

Buying bitcoins as an investment means going long bitcoin deflation. That’s it. Let me explain. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a digital currency made hard to forge using cryptography, and also a payment platform such as those used by Visa, ATMs and if you’ve done wire transfers, the Swift system. The bitcoin technology platform is not…

Dubai Financial Markets Investor Structure Improving

My foray into DFM’s historical data unearthed some interesting nuggets, both of which I consider positive. For the first half of this year, Arab investors, including from the GCC, withdrew a total of AED 1.6 billion from the market while UAE citizens invested a total of AED 421 million. Here is the first interesting bit, the total…

Investors are falling into a liquidity trap in the GCC

I am increasingly hearing of people investing into positions in the markets because they think that the price of a share is cheap due to a decline in the price. The price is not cheap, it is low for a reason. Worse, when these investors enter the market and buy the shares they think they…

Dana Gas seems confused about sukuk pricing

Dana Gas’s CEO thinks his sukuk coupons are above market even though the sukuk price is below market. This is inconsistent. I am not discussing any Sharia law issues here, just the simple dynamics of the bond (including sukuk) market. This opinion is based on an article in The National. According to Dana Gas’s CEO the…

Entrepreneurs’ Dreams

Noon, the online retailer, was announced in November 2016 with a launch date of January 2017. Last week, word began to emerge that Noon, now almost five months late on its originally announced launch date, might be moving many of its staff to Saudi Arabia. Why, when a venture is already delayed five months, would…

Entrepreneurs don’t need the state to do their work

Last week I was honoured to participate in the Ministry of Economy’s seventh Annual Investment Meeting, a conference focused on foreign direct investment in growing markets, as well as the associated AIM Startup, held in Dubai. A large part of the conference – the talks and panels, as well as private conversation – revolved around…

My Zawya Story, 2nd Edition

In 2012, Zawya, a UAE-based business media company, was sold to Thomson Reuters for a 20 times cash return by Saffar, a low-profile private equity company. I am the founding chief executive of Saffar and became chairman of Zawya after we acquired it, between 2001 and 2011. This is my story of how I bought…

Venture capital as a substitute for oil in driving economic growth

Venture capital is critical to the future success of not only the UAE but also the GCC. To understand this we first need to understand the historic formula for our success – oil leads to financial capital, which leads to real estate development, which creates social and business communities that attract people. Repeat. Even if…