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CIMB-Principal eyes potential in Mid East and North Africa  

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

CIMB-Principal eyes potential in Mid East and North Africa

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd sees good investment opportunites in the Middle East and North Africa. Chief executive Datuk Noripah Kamso said: “We want to give Malaysian investors the opportunity to invest in these markets, which have usually been overlooked.

“They have great potential partly because of their encouraging economic growth, low correlation to world markets and attractive valuations,'' she told a press conference.

Societe Generale Asset Management fund manager (emerging market equities) Mark Krombas said: “Economies in these markets grew more than 5% in each of the past three years and their real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 6.3% in 2006, one of the region's best years since the 1970s.

“On a per capita basis, the region grew at an average of 4.2% in 2006, the highest level recorded in at least two decades, hence providing attractive investment opportunities in these markets,” he said.

According to Krombas, domestic demand would continue to be the dominant force behind the current growth momentum.

Non-oil GDP growth (including agriculture, construction, manufacturing and services) was expected to have risen between 7% and 8% in Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in 2007.

There was also strong demand for consumer and financial products as well as real estate, in addition to the upcoming government investment programmes worth US$1.5 trillion (from 2007 to 2011), he added.

Source : Friday January 18, 2008

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