04 Aug 2020

UAE investors eyeing up sustainable opportunities

UAE investors eyeing up sustainable opportunities

Affluent and high net worth individuals (HNWI) in the UAE are showing an increasing appetite towards sustainable investments, as they look to capitalise on green opportunities, according to the latest Sustainable Investing Review 2020 from Standard Chartered Private Bank.

Amid market disruptions due to Covid-19, as many as 90 percent of investors surveyed said they are interested in sustainable investment, with 42 percent planning to invest five to 15 percent of their funds in sustainable investments over the next three years.

Naushid Mithani, head of global South Asian community, Europe, Middle East and Africa and private bank head UAE, Standard Chartered, told Arabian Business: “As the Middle East’s second-largest economy, the UAE is providing a number of sustainable investment opportunities, recognising the significance of long-term benefits to the country.”

A total of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ranging from eliminating poverty and hunger to providing quality education and climate action, were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the goals.

The UAE is already leading the way as it diversifies its economy away from a reliance on hydrocarbons – for example, Dubai aims to become the city with the lowest carbon footprint by 2050.

Mithani added that the delayed Expo 2020, due to be held next year as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, will further the country’s sustainable ambitions and provide a perfect platform for potential investors.

“With Expo 2020 set to take place in Dubai, it is providing further awareness of the opportunities available in the UAE, as well as bringing more countries together to further encourage sustainable investments,” said Mithani.

According to the report, 72 percent of investors in the UAE are highly interested in the possibilities presented by sustainable investing, which is even higher among the country’s younger and increasingly educated generation of investors.

Similarly, 39 percent of UAE investors expressed an interest in allocating 15 to 25 percent of their funds to sustainable investments within the next three years.

The bank’s third annual survey covered around 1,000 investors with a specific focus on affluent and HNW investors in Hong Kong, Singapore, the UAE and the United Kingdom.

The effect of the pandemic is clearly reflected in this year’s findings which highlighted investors’ focus on areas that build resilience against future crises. Nearly 50 percent rated the United Nations SDGs of Clean Water and Sanitation and Good Health and Well-being as being of higher importance. This is followed by 43 percent of investors indicating Climate Action as more important, which edged ahead of Quality Education and Zero Hunger, both at 40 percent.

“The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted a sizable vulnerability in the strategic assessment and planning, not only of the healthcare systems, but also of the global supply chain and financial markets. This has the potential to significantly reshape investor flows and to positively influence the future of ESG investing,” said Mithani.

Source:  Arabian Business

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