By Sean Van Zyl
With a new year one’s mind tends to scout for new prospects – perhaps a new car or finally that high-tech outdoor Jacuzzi tub you have had your eye on for the past 12 months.
With a new year one’s mind tends to scout for new prospects – perhaps a new car or finally that high-tech outdoor Jacuzzi tub you have had your eye on for the past 12 months. It is natural to look for “self rewards” at different milestones in life, and hence the desire to ensure the most comfortable retirement for that appropriate date you have set to move on to a less stressful lifestyle.
It is with such a view that most individuals keep a keen eye on their investment portfolio, which could include your residence, properties to direct share and commodity investments. Is this the right time to sell the house and buy an apartment? Are “structured product” funds a better option to traditional mutual funds? These personal finance questions invariably come to the forefront of one’s mind after the New Year’s celebrations.
And, as most personal investors in the Gulf region can testify, the year past proved to be extremely frustrating on the listed equity front, with the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) having shed some 60% of its value during 2006 (with the GCC region’s stock markets having lost a combined average value of 35%), so the impulse for change is strong for many of us. While the general outlook of analysts for equity market performance over the shortterm remains bearish, 2007 does appear to offer a hint of optimism.
As detailed in the cover article of this issue of Money, a significant number of Gulf private companies are looking to go public sometime during 2007, thus affording investors the opportunity to buy in through initial public offerings at base values. Notably, approximately 134 companies are said to be preparing to launch an IPO, with Gulf IPO raisings expected to exceed US$31bn (AED 113bn) over the next three years. While there will likely be plenty of investor value in these market offerings, the commentators in our feature are also quick to caution that there will be “winners” and “losers” among the pack.