By Santhosh V Perumal
Eyeing a 50% market share in Qatar, deVere Group, the world’s largest independent international financial consultancy, has said Doha has the potential to become the world’s top finance centre, rivalling Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Geneva and New York.
Moreover, it is time for investors in Qatar to focus more on global equities, bonds and in commodities, senior officials of the deVere Group told Gulf Times in an interview.
“We’re looking to increase our market share considerably – by 50% over the next 12 months – by building on the impressive capabilities and credentials of our team here,” James Green, area manager (Abu Dhabi and Qatar) said.
Stressing that his job is to take advantage of the exciting growth and development in Doha and build on its already successful team here; he said this is an exciting opportunity for as more expatriates are coming to Qatar to take advantage of the growing opportunities it presents, especially for those working within the oil, gas, construction, real estate and education sectors.
The group - whose clients in Qatar comprise local high-net-worth and mass-affluent individuals, international investors and expatriates - is well-established and well-known within the British and American expatriate community, he said.
DeVere Group primarily works with British and American expatriates but also with international, globally-minded local investors. “All our clients, whether Qatari or expatriate, work with us to help them safeguard and maximise their wealth through sound financial planning,” according to Green.
On the outlook towards Qatar’s economy, especially considering that much of its growth will come from the non-hydrocarbon sector; Tom Elliott, deVere Group’s international investment strategist, said the main risk for Qatar’s bourse is event-driven.
Asked what strategy investors should adopt in the light of rising geopolitical risks in the Arab region, Elliott said diversification is a key part of investing, since it is the main tool for managing risk. “Therefore Qatar investors with long-term investment horizons should focus on global equities and bonds and certainly in commodities - even though they are currently unfashionable,” he added. This might seem odd, since oil and gas dominate most commodity benchmark indices, but since the Qatari economy is largely based on gas revenues, domestic investors are already exposed to petrocarbon prices, he reasoned.
“The biggest near-term risk to global investors is perhaps the rise in the US interest rates, which are likely to start next spring. I think equities will continue to make gains, but bonds may find the going tough.”
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