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Friday, September 2, 2011

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Major Middle East state investment fund increases emerging markets exposure

Influential state investment fund Mubadala sets its sights on broadening its emerging markets exposure

Abu Dhabi state investment fund Mubadala is increasing its position in emerging markets, according to COO, Waleed Al Muhairi.

He estimates the firm’s international portfolio will be weighted roughly equally between developed and emerging markets within the next five years. This moves away from the roughly 60% weighting in favour of developed markets today.

“We’re quite well positioned in Western Europe and North America and we’re increasing our positions in the developing world. There’s no question that growth is going to come from that part of the world,” says Al Muhairi.

Meanwhile, as Gulf governments try more urgently after the Arab Spring to bring down unemployment among their nationals, Al Muhairi says Mubadala itself is looking to increase its proportion of local employees at head-office level. He says the firm wants to bring its proportion of national staff from 38% today to 45% “over the next couple of years”. Hiring local Emiratis remains “an important part of [Mubadala’s] recruiting” according to Al Muhairi.

“Steady state, we’d like to aim at 50/50 [local/expat employees] – within the pool of the six or seven hundred people we have at the headquarters, at the corporate level,” he says.

Related coverage:

Mubadala mulls media and pharma investments
31 August 2011

Mubadala unveils bank-relationship strategy
1 September 2011

For more, check out the September edition of Euromoney to hear from Mubadala’s senior management about the firm’s evolution.