UAE ranked top Arab capital exporter

Country pumped nearly $45.5bn in five years, nearly 30% of total Arab capital outflow

The UAE pumped nearly $45.5 billion into foreign markets in five years to emerge as the largest capital exporter in the Arab World, far surpassing the world’s dominant oil power Saudi Arabia.

The funds accounted for nearly 30 per cent of the total Arab foreign direct investment (FDI) outflow of nearly $147.4bn during 2006-2010.

Official figures showed Kuwait was the second largest Arab capital exporter during that period, with its FDI outflow totalling around $37bn.

Qatar, the world’s top LNG supplier, came third with nearly $24.5bn, followed by Libya with around $11.9bn. Saudi Arabia was the fifth largest capital exporter, pumping nearly $9bn.

The figures by the Kuwaiti-based Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation (IAIGC), a key Arab League establishment, showed FDI flow out of the UAE sharply slowed down during 2009 and 2010, when it plunged to $2.7bn and $2bn respectively.

This compares with a record high outflow of about $15.8bn in 2008 and as high as $14.5bn in 2007 and $10.8bn in 2006.

Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, was the top regional capital exporter in 2010, with around $3.9bn. But investment flow out of the Gulf kingdom was negative through 2006 and 2007 as the balance was in favour of FDI inflow.
 
Capital outflow was negligible in most other Arab countries except for Egypt and Lebanon, standing at around $4.48bn and $4.41bn respectively.

Bahrain also emerged as a relatively large capital exporter, with an outflow of nearly $2.8bn. The balance was negative at around $1.79bn in 2009. FDI flow by Morocco was also relatively high at nearly $2.6bn while it was only in million dollars in most other countries, including Syria, Iraq and Sudan.

In a recent report, a UN group said the UAE, the second largest Arab economy, pumped in excess of $53bn into foreign markets in 20 years to emerge as the largest Arab capital exporter and the 30th in the world.

The UAE was outstripped only by developed countries as it was ahead of most capital exporters in the developing nations, showed the report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
 
The figures covered only FDI as they did not include capital channeled by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), with assets of between $300-800bn.

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