European Central Bank liquidity measures are spurring investment in the Middle East, the head of an Abu Dhabi-based foreign exchange and commodities trading firm told CNBC Wednesday.
“All that liquidity is really encouraging investors to take a step forward,” Mahmood Ebraheem Al Mahmood, CEO of ADS Securities, told CNBC from the UAE Global Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi.
“It has an interesting impact, in that people are looking for opportunities, better service, better products, and looking to diversify away from the traditional portfolios that have always been centered on this region,” he said.
Al Mahmood said Abu Dhabi was seeing a steady rise in investor interest from both developed and developing countries. At present, 50 percent of ADS Securities' clients are based in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) area, 30 percent in the Far East and Australia, 15 percent in Europe, and 5 percent in the U.S.
“Abu Dhabi is a very stable and long-term orientated environment,” he said, adding that another attraction to investors was its location between two major trading areas — Europe and the Far East.
Also speaking on Wednesday, Mohammed Omar Abdullah, undersecretary in the department for economic development, told CNBC that by 2030, Abu Dhabi aimed to derive 23 percent of its gross domestic product from foreign direct investment (FDI).
In 2011, the United Arab Emirates attracted $1.8 billion of FDI.