‘Slowing global economy the biggest risk’

15 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

DUBAI: Over half of UAE investors believe a slowing world economy poses the biggest risk to their investments in 2019, a new study found.

According to research from financial services firms Old Mutual International and Quilter Cheviot Investment Management, 54 per cent of the 130 UAE residents polled believe economic stagnation in the global economy will be the largest threat this year - up from 39 per cent in 2017. Interest rate hikes were a concern for 43 per cent of investors, versus just over a quarter in 2017, while 41 per cent are wary over falling oil prices, report agencies.

Mark Leale, head of Quilter Cheviot Investment Management’s Dubai representative office, said it is “understandable” many investors are concerned as markets will “undoubtedly be more volatile in 2019”.

“Handling risk is a key part of the investment process and managing the downside is inevitable when dealing with stock markets,” he said.

The US-China trade war, along with weak economic indicators and a series of global political challenges, such as Brexit in the United Kingdom, adversely affected major stock market indexes at the end of last year. Stocks around the world limped into the end of a dismal 2018 that saw bear markets in equities from Japan to Germany. Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve increased interest rates four times in 2018 with two more expected in 2019.

Nearly a third of poll respondents feel Donald Trump’s presidency in the US could pose a risk to their investments; while 30 per cent fear geopolitical events such as terrorism may be a threat.