Rising demand for wealth management services among Middle Eastern women

Rising demand for wealth management services among Middle Eastern women
Studies have forecast that four-in-five women from high-net-worth (HNW) families were getting ready to inherit substantial wealth over the next decade or two. (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 16 March 2021

Rising demand for wealth management services among Middle Eastern women

Rising demand for wealth management services among Middle Eastern women
  • Founded in Singapore in 2016, StashAway has clients in 145 countries and has so far raised $36.4 million in four funding rounds

A southeast Asian digital wealth management firm has reported rapid growth since its November launch in the Middle East, especially among female clients.

And from retirement to buying a home, StashAway has pinpointed the reasons why users have invested their money with the platform.

The first digital wealth manager to obtain an asset management license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority, Ramzi Khleif, general manager of StashAway MENA (Middle East and North Africa), said the “appetite from the market has been extremely strong.”

One of the trends he noticed has been an increase from female investors. When it launched in the Middle East, the company found that two-thirds of signups were men, but the way the current numbers are growing it expects that to change by the end of the year.

“It’s also interesting for us to see how trends in the Far East are very much happening here, with the rise of female investors,” Khleif added.

“We are driven to reach out to more women, empower and educate them on finance. Based on these trends we predict that women will make up half of our client base which is faster than how long it took us to achieve this in Singapore and Malaysia.”

The issue is certainly a pertinent one as research by Barclays Private Bank late last year found a substantial wealth transfer was poised to happen over the next 20 years, with an estimated $15 trillion set to pass to the next generation.

Studies have forecast that four-in-five women from high-net-worth (HNW) families were getting ready to inherit substantial wealth over the next decade or two.

Rasha Badawi, director at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management in the Middle East, said: “As traditional family roles change and more women hold prominent positions in international business, their growing global influence is going to be a major economic force over the next decade, redefining areas that have historically been focused on, and dominated by, men.”

The bank’s research suggested that changes within financial services are needed to better support the growing number of HNW women as they are inheriting more wealth and responsibility. Therefore, wealth managers need to empower wealthy women and embrace their increasing power and influence.

Dr. Ylva Baeckstrom, a behavioral finance and gender expert, told Arab News: “The industry needs to overcome existing biases, work to deliver services and advice that are the equal of those presented to their male relatives, and provide women with the base to support their role as global business leaders of the future.”

StashAway also carried out a survey of why people were opting to invest their money. It found that 32 percent of respondents were focused on growing money for retirement purposes, mainly due to the absence of pension schemes in the region, while buying a property was the main goal for 19 percent of survey participants.

Founded in Singapore in 2016, StashAway has clients in 145 countries and has so far raised $36.4 million in four funding rounds.


Dubai’s Alabbar to lead new digital-only UAE bank

Dubai’s Alabbar to lead new digital-only UAE bank
Updated 7 min 27 sec ago

Dubai’s Alabbar to lead new digital-only UAE bank

Dubai’s Alabbar to lead new digital-only UAE bank
  • Online banking has become increasingly popular in the UAE, especially as a result of restrictions as a result of the pandemic

Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar is to lead a new digital bank set to be launched soon in the UAE.

Zand is being billed as “the world’s first combined digital corporate and retail bank” and is currently going through final approvals ahead of its launch, according to an announcement issued on Monday.

Alabbar is the founder of Emaar Properties — the Dubai developer behind The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa — and also teamed up with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to launch the Noon online shopping platform in 2017. As part of his latest venture, he will take on the role of chairman of Zand.

“The UAE combines progressive regulations with commercial, financial, and technology hubs. This provides the perfect environment for a world-leading digital bank that can launch in the UAE and scale beyond,” Alabbar said in a statement.

“As the first fully independent digital bank in the country, with a full UAE banking license, Zand will provide innovative, effective financial solutions that help simplify businesses and lives, addressing the needs of both retail and corporate customers.”

Online banking has become increasingly popular in the UAE, especially as a result of restrictions as a result of the pandemic, which made it harder to get to a physical bank branch.

A survey by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) last October found that 70 percent of respondents said that they are actively searching for a new bank and 87 percent said they would be willing to open an account with a branchless digital-only lender.

The same BCG survey found that 53 percent said that they were using banking mobile apps more often as a result of the pandemic and half of those surveyed had started using digital banking for the first time.

“UAE’s banking customers’ have a strong appetite for digital banks, and we see more growth in the demand of digital products during the pandemic,” Mohammad Khan, partner at BCG, was quoted as saying.


Bahrain Bourse expects to attract two more listings, says CEO

Bahrain Bourse expects to attract two more listings, says CEO
Updated 12 min 17 sec ago

Bahrain Bourse expects to attract two more listings, says CEO

Bahrain Bourse expects to attract two more listings, says CEO
  • The pandemic had prompted some companies to shelve planned offerings

RIYADH: Bahrain Bourse is expected to attract two new public offerings this year, its CEO told Asharq Business.
The first is a logistics company and the second an oil company, Sheikh Khalifa bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, told the website
However, he said that the pandemic had prompted some companies to shelve planned offerings.
He said that the exchange was focused on easing the entry of investors into the market.
He also highlighted the launch of the Bahrain Bourse environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting guideline for listed companies, in response to rising appetite for such investments from global institutions.
The stock exchange applies the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) to classify listed companies, he said, highlighting continued cooperation with Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul stock exchange, the largest in the region.
He said the bourse’s main objective was to diversify its investor based which is currently dominated by institutions, unlike some other regional exchanges where individual investors are more strongly represented,
Al-Khalifa pointed to the adoption of new listing rules that better guarantee the rights of investors, including those directed at companies with large accumulated losses.


We are happier at home say UAE workers

We are happier at home say UAE workers
Updated 28 min 4 sec ago

We are happier at home say UAE workers

We are happier at home say UAE workers
  • The Life and Beyond 2020 research after polling 10,000 workers in 11 countries to discover the impact of COVID-19 on their wellbeing

DUBAI: UAE workers are happy working from home according to a new study.

The Life and Beyond 2020 research, conducted by US-based technology company Avaya, revealed the UAE as “among the fondest of work-from-anywhere models,” after polling 10,000 workers in 11 countries to discover the impact of COVID-19 on their wellbeing.

The research found 64 percent of those polled in the UAE would support government policies aimed at adopting modern working practices, including remote working, adding it would contribute to their happiness.

The biggest worry for 51 percent of the country’s workforce was returning to work in the office full-time, the survey also revealed.

The UAE was also identified as the world’s best equipped country for remote working, with 64 percent claiming they have access to technology to be able to work from anywhere. Only 62 percent in the US said the same, and 55 percent inthe UK.


Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property

Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property
Updated 12 April 2021

Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property

Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property
  • Dubai-listed Al Ramz recorded a 2020 loss of investments of about 31 million dirhams ($8.4 million)

DUBAI: Low interest rates may fuel the recovery of the UAE real estate sector, according to the boss of one of the country’s biggest brokers.
The country is well positioned for an “accelerated bounce back from 2020 as all the ingredients for growth come back in play starting in 2021,”
Al Ramz chairman Dhafer Sahmi Al-Ahbabi said in the company’s annual report published on Monday.
“The backdrop of low interest rates not seen since the 2011 lows, will fuel the private sector and real estate sector in the country to fuel the growth over the next few years,” he said.

The UAE stock market has already signaled this positive outlook with the UAE indexes already outperforming in the EMEA and EM region in 2021.”
It comes after a tough year for regional brokers hit hard by the sharp decline in corporate profits and trading activity.
Dubai-listed Al Ramz recorded a 2020 loss of investments of about 31 million dirhams ($8.4 million), resulting to a net loss of 10.9 million dirhams, compared to a profit of 4.1 million in 2019.
Al Ramz had to diversify its income sources to buffer the blow of COVID-19, Al-Ahbabi said.


Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles

Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles
Updated 12 April 2021

Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles

Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles
  • The move will make Dubai the first location outside the US to operate self-driving vehicles

DUBAI: Dubai’s transport authority has signed an agreement with Cruise, a General Motors unit, to operate its autonomous vehicles in the emirate by 2023.
The move will make Dubai the first location outside the US to operate self-driving vehicles, the emirate’s Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum said on Twitter.
He said the goal was to convert 25 percent of the total transportation trips in Dubai into self-driving trips by 2030.
The fleet will reach 4,000 vehicles by 2030, the crown prince said, as Dubai aims to cut transportation costs by 900 million dirhams ($245 million) annually and reduce carbon emission by 12 percent per year by then.