Saudi Vision 2030 goals represent greatest investment opportunity – EFG Hermes poll

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals create the greatest investment opportunity, ahead of artificial intelligence (AI) and the shift in manufacturing away from China, according to an investor poll. 

More than one third of those surveyed by Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes at its “One-On-One Conference” in Dubai said Saudi’s plans to diversify its economy are the greatest opportunity, while one quarter said it is the use of AI. 

Only 15% thought the greatest investment opportunity is the shift in manufacturing away from China, while 14% thought it is structural change in global energy markets. 

A smaller number, around12%, said Egypt’s economic reforms are the greatest opportunity for investors.  

Also at the conference, Ayman Soliman, CEO of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, spoke about the advantages brought about by the devaluation of Egypt’s currency, including labour and export costs. 

Egypt is undergoing economic reforms which aim to stabilise a series of economic issues, including managing internal and external debt, inflationary pressure and restoring and developing tourism. 

Interest rates 

Investors attending the EFG Hermes conference in Dubai, echoed the most recent indications by the US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell earlier this month, when he said he did not expect any interest rate cuts to take place this year. 

Nearly half (45%) said they expect the Fed to start cutting rates in the first half of 2024, while more than a quarter (27%) said they expect it to take longer, or in the second half of 2024. About 15% thought the rates may be cut later in 2023, and 13% said it would take even longer still – after 2024. 

The majority, 73%, said they expect the Brent Crude oil price to average around $80 per barrel this year, while 23% said it would average $100 per barrel and 5% expect it to be $60 per barrel. 

For the biggest current challenge to businesses, one third (34%) cited geopolitical factors including the Ukraine war and US-China relations, one quarter (25%) cited the cost of debt, while nearly as many (24%) cited the availability of human capital. Only 15% said technological change is the biggest challenge. 

The poll results also showed that investors are in favour of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index over the S&P 500, with 57% saying the MSCI will do better in US dollar terms in 2023, while 43% said the S&P 500 will fare better. 




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