News

Mena assets jump 11% in 2020

Arrow-up webThe strong performance of sovereign wealth funds helped the Mena asset management sector grow its assets under management (AUM) by 11% in 2020. A report by Boston Group Consulting Group (BCG) showed that AUM in the region increased from US$1.1 trillion to $1.2 trillion last year. This increase was in spite of the global pandemic. Global markets and oil prices both recovered from steep declines in the first half of the year. And emerging markets equities fared well benefitting the large number of Mena-based wealth funds invested in the asset class. Notably, some of the largest wealth funds in the region, such as Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala, embarked on a spending spree in mid-2020, buying up assets in distressed markets as well as technology and healthcare. Mubadala's AUM grew by 5% in 2020, from Dh853 billion ($232 billion) in 2019 to Dh894bn ($243 billion). An additional factor, according to the report, was the strong demand for retail funds which grew by 12% in 2020. “Much like every sector, the resilience of the asset management industry was tested in 2020, with initial outbreak disruption and subsequent economic tailwinds presenting a period of sizeable uncertainty for the industry and its incumbents,” said Harold Haddad, managing director and partner at BCG. “However, the Middle East has prevailed in the face of adversity, and it is now apparent that the region has entered 2021 in a position of strength following healthy returns.” The Mena region was broadly in line with global trends. Global AUM increased by 11% to reach $103 trillion by the end of 2020. © 2021 funds global mena

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...

INTERVIEW: Protecting the investment

Rasmala’s trade finance fund recently passed $100 million in assets. Doug Bitcon, head of credit strategies, explains why he has to be hands-on.

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: A natural interest in the topic

Since 2016, Guillermo Ortiz has been a chairman of Latin America’s BTG Pactual. The former central banker of Mexico talks to Nick Fitzpatrick.

Roundtables

Middle East Investor Roundtable 2020: Dimensions of diversification

Investors in the Middle East consider the tools that will be needed to navigate the Covid-19 crisis, the continued appetite for dividend and why it’s all about tech. Chaired by Romil Patel.

South Africa asset management roundtable: Global rebound on ice

Experts discuss the investment implications of the coronavirus pandemic, a delayed rebound in global growth and dealing with South Africa’s energy issues head on. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

South African roundtable: Taking the bull by the horns

Our panel discusses Chinese investment in Africa, financial institutions’ contribution to economic sustainability and regulatory concerns. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.