Saudi Arabia has largest ultra high net worth population in region: Study

Updated 05 October 2015
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Saudi Arabia has largest ultra high net worth population in region: Study

Saudi Arabia and the UAE jointly account for over 45 percent of the UHNW (ultra high net worth) population in the Middle East, a new Wealth-X study has found.
The wealth-intelligence organization defines UHNW individuals as those with $30 million and above in net assets.
Saudi Arabia has the largest UHNW population (1,495 ultra wealthy individuals) and UHNW wealth ($320 billion) in the region, followed by the UAE, according to the report.
In the UAE, there are 1,275 such individuals, worth a combined $255 billion, representing 20 percent of the total ultra wealthy population in the Middle East.
The UAE is ranked 22nd in Wealth-X’s global ranking of UHNW population by country, behind Saudi Arabia (17) but ahead of Kuwait (32).
Nearly 1,000 ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals are based in UAE capital Abu Dhabi (450 individuals) and Dubai (495).
The report said that Saudi Arabia’s more dispersed economic growth has resulted in a split of its UHNW population across. a few of its key hubs.
All of these main hubs have experienced faster growth in UHNW population than their respective country’s average. This concentration exemplifies how vital infrastructure is in facilitating the growth of both fortunes and opportunities. As such, clusters continue to dominate, and we expect these cities’ existing pull of international resources to become stronger, said the report.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE jointly account for over 45% of the region’s UHNW population, and both of these countries experienced fast growth in UHNW population and wealth.
The only country in the region to experience an overall decline in its UHNW population and wealth this year was Kuwait, due to the slow GDP growth and a declining equity market in the country. In Saudi Arabia or UAE, the UHNW populations control more than half their respective countries’ total wealth.
There are 1,275 ultra wealthy individuals in the UAE, representing 20 percent of the total ultra wealthy population in the Middle East, Wealth-X research shows.
The combined wealth of the UAE’s ultra high net worth population stands at $255 billion.
 The study also reveals that 57 percent of the UAE’s UHNW population amassed their fortune through entrepreneurship.
Only 8 percent fully inherited their fortune; and 35 percent partially inherited and grew their wealth.
 
Below are other key findings from the study:
 
• Nearly 1,000 UHNW individuals are based in Abu Dhabi (450 individuals) and Dubai (495).
• Saudi Arabia and the UAE jointly account for over 45 percent of the UHNW population in the Middle East.
• Only 3 percent of the UAE’s UHNW population made its wealth through oil, gas and consumable fuels.
• The most significant source of wealth for the UAE’s UNHW population is industrial conglomerates, at more than 20 percent.
• The UAE is ranked 22nd in Wealth-X’s global ranking of UHNW population by country, behind Saudi Arabia (17) but ahead of Kuwait (32).
There are nearly 6,000 UHNW individuals in the Middle East with a combined net worth of $995 billion.
David Awit, Wealth-X director for Middle East, said: “Despite the UAE equity market suffering declines of nearly 20 percent in the last year, our study shows that UHNW individuals in the country have defied this economic backdrop to record further increases in their fortunes in 2015, highlighting the ability of the world’s wealthiest individuals to continue to create new wealth.”


Iran looms large over OPEC summit

Updated 22 September 2018
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Iran looms large over OPEC summit

  • Saudi Arabia only country in Mideast, and perhaps world, with enough capacity to keep market supplied, say experts
  • At Algiers, Opec and leading non-Opec countries are expected to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset a shortage of Iran supplies

LONDON: The Opec summit in Algiers on Sunday meets amid widespread fears of a supply crunch when a forecast 1.4 million barrels a day of crude is lost from Iran in November when US sanctions kick in.
If, on top of that, more supply shocks hit the market in worse-than-expected disruption from Libya and Iraq, the price of crude could surge, said Andy Critchlow, head of energy news at S&P Global Platts. “At the moment, the market looks finely balanced,” he said.
There isn’t a lot of slack in the system. As Critchlow points out: “Upstream investment in infrastructure and new wells is historically low and it will take a long time to turn that around.”
At Algiers, Opec and leading non-Opec countries are expected to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset a shortage of Iran supplies. The gathering comes after a tweet by President Trump on Sept. 20 calling on Opec to lower prices. He said on Twitter that “they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for a higher and higher oil price.”
Critchlow reckoned KSA still had spare capacity of about 2 million bpd. And KSA would get oil back as they go into winter as it had needed 800,000m bpd merely to generate electricity for the home market to meet heightened demand for air conditioning in the summer.
But there is uncertainty about what will come out of Algiers. For a start, the Iranians say they will not attend. That could be tricky in terms of an Opec communique at the end of the meeting as statements need unanimous support from member nations. And Iran has indicated it will veto any move that would affect Iran’s position, ie, one where other countries absorb its market share as sanctions bite.
Jason Gammel, energy analyst at London broker Jefferies, said: “The magnitude of the drop in Iranian exports is likely to be higher than any hit in demand as a result of problems linked to emerging market currencies, or trade wars. That’s why we expect oil prices to continue to strengthen. The Saudis and their partners will keep the market well supplied, and I think the issue is that the level of spare capacity in the system will be extremely low. Any threat or interruption will mean price spikes. Possibly by the end of the year demand will exceed supply; for now, the market remains in balance, but threats of supply disruption will bring volatility.”
Under the spotlight in Algiers is a production cuts accord forged by Opec and 11 other countries in 2016 which has been extended to the end of this year. The agreement helped reboot prices and obliterate inventory stockpiles that led to the crash in crude prices nearly three years ago. But how long will the agreement last? Algiers may kick that one into the long grass.
Thomson Reuters analysts Ehsan Ul-Haq and Tom Kenison told Arab News: “OPEC members would like to maintain cohesion within the group around supply ahead of Iran sanctions and declining Venezuela production, However, they are expected be in favor of maintaining stability in prices while doing so. On the other hand, they need to find a consensus around how their market share would be affected by a decision to pump more oil in the market. Any decision around production will likely be offset until the November meeting.”
Critchlow said that it is what KSA and Russia say and do that matters. “They speak for a fifth of the global oil market, producing a combined total of 22m bpd.” Together, they are the swing producers when it comes to crude production and supply.
Another factor about Algiers is that it is a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which is not a policy-making forum. Big policy statements may have to wait for the main Opec summit in Vienna at the end of year. That said, there will be some very high-level delegations in Algiers, including the Saudi oil minister and his Russian counterpart.
A statement about the demand picture could emerge, especially as there are fears about the impact on the global economy from the US-China tariff war.
Looking to the future, Critchlow thought the Opec production cuts accord would carry on into 2019. “Oil priced between $70/bbl and $80/bbl is a sweet spot for Middle East producers. Its’s good for Saudi as it helps stop further drainage of their foreign reserves and moves the budget back toward balance. Do they want (the price) to go higher? I think that would cause a lot of political problems for them.”