High net worth investors and business owners in the UAE are the most optimistic in the world, according to UBS Global Wealth Management's new quarterly Investor Sentiment survey.
With 83 percent of UAE investors optimistic about the local economy, and 78 percent expressing optimism on the global economy, the Gulf state registered as the most bullish of all regions surveyed.
The survey showed that UAE investors hold similarly optimistic views on equities, with 80 percent of respondents in favour of local stocks.
They are also among the most likely to have plans to invest more (62 percent), second only to Latin American investors (66 percent).
In the UAE, investors' top concerns were the possibility of a global trade war, market volatility and inflation.
The survey, which polled more than 3,600 wealthy investors and entrepreneurs in 17 countries, points to a rebound in bullish sentiment in the first three months of 2019 as markets recovered from the late-2018 slump.
While respondents held a large proportion of their assets in cash, many expressed willingness to invest it, results showed.
Globally, 51 percent of investor respondents were optimistic on the global economy versus 21 percent who were pessimistic. Business owners were especially positive, with 62 percent optimistic and 15 percent pessimistic. Even more – 60 percent of investors and 68 percent of business owners – expressed optimism on their own region's economy.
Investors globally were also bullish on stocks, albeit not as bullish as UAE investors, with 56 percent expressing optimism on stocks in their own regions versus 49 percent on stocks globally.
Forty-two percent of investors planned to invest more in the next six months versus 17 percent who planned to invest less.
On the negative side, investors expressed worries about domestic issues. Some 44 percent cited their country's politics as a top concern and 40 percent cited their national debt.
Ali Janoudi, head of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at UBS Global Wealth Management, said: "It is encouraging to see such optimism paired with a strong desire to invest from UAE respondents. The findings confirm our view that the UAE should be considered a growth region for our business."
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