Anastasia Diakova from FBS Markets advises on investment opportunities in the volatile region
“The top priority for the Middle East should be the improvement of other industry sectors,” to offset the impact of oil price volatility, says Anastasia Diakova, Leading Market Manager for FBS
Forex Report: The global economy is in a transitional period – still recovering, and with its problems, but with green shoots representing interesting investment opportunities: especially in the Middle East. With me is Anastasia Diakova from FBS Markets, an international brokerage company, to discuss where the opportunities lie.
Well Anastasia, FBS covers markets worldwide; what sort of investment opportunities are you seeing in the Middle East compared to other regions?
Anastasia Diakova: The current situation in the Middle East today can be described as unpredictable. This is a region where ISIS is strengthening its positions, while Syria endures the consequences of local revolution. Where Iran is expecting sanction consolations, and remains in a position to Saudi Arabia. Where Turkey claims its ambitions, and the Palestine issue stays acute.
However, as far as investments are concerned, it’s unbelievable that despite the ambiguity of the Middle East, investing there is extremely profitable. Bearing in mind the richness of the Muslim world.
Overall it means that high standard of living always instability in the region.
Forex Report: So tell us: how have you managed to gain success in the Middle East?
Anastasia Diakova: FBS developed advantageous investment projects for local clients. We took into consideration the peculiarities of the local mentality, and the best practices of doing business in the region.
Moreover, what’s even more important is, we provide our clients with opportunities to act in complete accordance with their religious commitments. We have a range of special offers, including special accounts and promotions for Muslim clients that do not contradict Islamic law.
Forex Report: So how unstable would you say the Middle East investment potential is, considering all the unrest in the region?
Anastasia Diakova: The region is un-homogenous. It unites both stable zones – such as the UAE – and centres of tension, like Yemen.
Throughout several recent years, many Arabic countries saw their leaders change. In many places, ultimate Islamisation became their only policy. Different countries deal with stabilisation on a local level their own way.
In some countries civil protests did not take place at all; in others they were put down by reforms, as in Jordan or Morocco; by money inflows, like in Saudi Arabia; or by repressive measures, like in Bahrain.
The biggest investment opportunities lie in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. Business conditions there are getting better, and these countries have set a course on economic development.
Forex Report: The energy industry is also a major concern at the moment, with the drop in oil prices; how has this impacted the Middle East – and in turn, the global economy?
Anastasia Diakova: On the one hand, lower prices catalyse development in energy intensive sectors, and come as a force for economic progress in the world.
On the other hand however, budget profitability of oil exporters is affected, and the employment rate in the industry drops as well.
The countries of the Middle East have a fair back behind them, while gold and foreign exchange reserves will help them survive an oil crisis. The states implement a policy of reducing their dependability on black gold exports, and downfall of oil prices will accelerate their work in this direction.
Forex Report: So who in your opinion are the main winners and losers in this situation? And what sort of outcome do you expect?
Anastasia Diakova: The Middle East and Saudi Arabia in particular are key players in OPEC. And they stand against reduction of crude oil production volume.
The aim of such a policy is to protect market share of united oil exporters from rivalry with American like tight oil supply.
If oil prices go down, procurement level for suppliers will be broken much sooner.
The slow-down of China’s economic gives strong grounds for worries as far as oil demand is concerned. There are no true winners in this war. Currently all parties lose to some extent.
Therefore, the top priority for the Middle East should be the improvement of other industry sectors that could serve as extra income generators.
Forex Report: So how do you envisage the investment landscape in the Middle East evolving in the months to come?
Anastasia Diakova: The region is developing in several fronts, including investments in infrastructure, construction, and service industries. I personally would also mark the financial sector.
The role of the Middle East as a world financial sector – like the UAE – will unchangeably grow.
Forex Report: Finally, what investment opportunities do you expect to appear in the region in the future?
Anastasia Diakova: Middle East as an area has huge potential for our business activity; but it involves many risks.
We are expecting even bigger success in investment and trade in the Middle East, and fast development of the forex industry in the region.
Like in every other part of the world, in the Middle East FBS strives to go beyond online business, and become as close to our clients as possible. We open local branches, improve affiliate programmes, take part in financial events and exhibitions, as well as hold seminars dedicated to spreading financial literacy.
We have a range of special offers for Arabic countries, and flexible conditions customised for special demands of Arabic customers. For example, trading with no swaps is available on all account types.
We also offer a free deposit insurance programme, a return part of spread to clients, and give bonuses to each deposit.
Moreover – especially for our Muslim clients – we will launch our annual charity book promotion in honour of the holy month of Ramadan, as we do every year.