UAE investments abroad are performing well despite global economic fluctuations: Secretary-General of UAEIIC

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ABU DHABI,24th March, 2024 (WAM) — Jamal Bin Saif Al Jarwan, Secretary-General of the UAE International Investors Council (UAEIIC), stated that UAE investments abroad are performing well despite global economic fluctuations.

The UAE is expanding its investment portfolio to secure future generations with valuable and viable projects, demonstrating sound economic management and commitment to development and cooperation.

Al Jarwan said, “The UAE has strengthened its position in the global economy. The total value of UAE assets abroad, whether government or private, is estimated at $2.5 trillion as of early 2024. It ranked first in the Arab region and West Asia and 15th globally, and second globally in investing in new opportunities.”

In statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Jarwan explained that the United States holds the top spot, attracting $65 billion in bonds and $50 billion in direct investments. Egypt follows closely with $65 billion, while the United Kingdom and India each pull in $40 billion in direct investments. Morocco sees $30 billion, and Europe is emerging as a promising future destination due to its currency stability.

He said, “We are currently operating in 90 countries, and I expect India, Indonesia, ASEAN countries, Egypt, Morocco, Central Asian countries, Britain, France, Germany, the United States, Canada, and some Eastern European countries, especially Serbia, Greece, and Turkey, to be the focus of our attention.”

Regarding the breakdown of ownership and capital holders, the Secretary-General of the UAEIIC explained that Emirati investments worldwide are divided between sovereign wealth funds by 72 percent, with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) playing a primary role, along with Mubadala Investment Company, Investment Corporation of Dubai, Emirates Investment Authority, and ADQ.

He noted that the UAE owns 7 sovereign wealth funds with assets exceeding two trillion dollars, followed by government-owned and quasi-governmental companies at 18 percent, UAE banks at 2.5 percent, and 7.5 percent for family-owned and private companies.

Jamal Al Jarwan said, “There are a series of deals that have been concluded, the most prominent of which was the deal between the American asset management company Apollo Global Management and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to acquire UniVar Solutions, headquartered in the UAE, for US$8.2 billion.”

He also mentioned the deal of the Canadian Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec acquiring 22 percent of the ownership of DP World in both the Jebel Ali Free Zone and the National Industries Park and Jebel Ali Port for US$5 billion.

He mentioned that among the most important deals in this field is the acquisition by the “e&” group and its subsidiary “Atlas 2022 Holdings” of a stake of 9.8 percent in the British Vodafone group for $4.4 billion, and the acquisition by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company “ADNOC” of 24.9 percent of the Austrian oil and gas company “OMV AG” from a local sovereign wealth fund affiliated with Mubadala for $4.1 billion, adding: “With the growing popularity of cross-border deals, Ras El-Hekma, a deal of great significance worth $35 billion emerges.”

Jarwan stated that the UAE invested $1.9 billion during the period from 1991 to 2000, and $53.6 billion during another ten-year period from 2001 to 2010. This culminated in a total cumulative balance of Emirati investments abroad by the end of 2022 amounting to $240 billion, compared to $215 billion in 2021.

Regarding annual flows, he clarified that the UAE’s investment flow abroad increased in 2022 to reach $24.833 billion, representing a 10 percent increase from 2021, when it was $22.546 billion. Additionally, the UAE ranked 15th globally in investment flows to world countries in 2022, compared to the 20th position in 2021, according to the report issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).