Fidelity aiming to promote mutual funds in Middle East
Fidelity Investments has launched a new European equity fund in the Middle East, despite research findings suggesting investors have little confidence in mutual funds
Gulf nationals are limiting their investment options due to poor understanding and a lack of knowledge about financial markets, according to research conducted by Fidelity Investments. The study conducted amongst high-income Arabic nationals in Kuwait and the UAE discovered a lack of confidence dealing in financial investment opportunities in both countries.
The research found that only 4% of Kuwaitis had bought financial products or services last year, although the figure in the UAE (22%) was considerably better yet still very low. Further delving found that just 2% of UAE nationals own mutual funds compared with 7% of Kuwaitis. Stocks and shares ownership seems to be the preferred method of investment in the UAE with 34% owning those, although in Kuwait the figure was still a meagre 6%.
“It is Fidelity’s belief that this low rate of ownership in the Gulf countries is a result of poor understanding and a lack of education,” says Sian Parry, executive director, international business development, Middle East Fidelity Investments. “ We know that numerous investors wish to establish long-term investment goals, however many do not realise the benefits of investing in a diversified portfolio.”
This lack of understanding is an issue of particular concern for Fidelity, especially as it has recently announced an expansion to its European equity fund in the Middle East with the addition of a new European Mid Cap Fund to its Fidelity Funds (SICAV) range. What this means is that the fund, which is being managed by London-based analyst Trygve Toraasen, will concentrate on medium-sized companies, using the Dow Jones STOXX Total Market Mid Index as its benchmark.
This latest fund adds to existing ones on offer by Fidelity in the Middle East in its SICAV range, including funds investing in healthcare, financial, industrial and consumer companies and another investing in Asian technology companies.