Gulf investors remain positive on Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman as they see potential for market liberalisation, new investment products and harmonised regulation to help deepen the region’s capital markets. This was revealed at the third quarter Middle East and North Africa (Mena) Asset Management Survey, a joint initiative of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) and FTSE. “The region’s investment market shows the potential that can be achieved by working and investing cross-border and, at the same time, driving and encouraging local market change, which is how it should be,” said Francesca Carnevale, editor, FTSE Global Markets. The survey found a growing desire by the region’s investors to enjoy region-wide consistency in regulation and ‘passportable’ investment product; a fact that should provide the region’s law-makers with food for thought. “Particularly in the GCC, the region’s investors see the potential for market liberalisation, new investment product and harmonised regulation to help deepen both the region’s capital markets and offer end-investors improved and more efficient investment products,” it said. While there are clear national differences in the way that investors approach investment to the Mena region, there is a clear disposition among survey respondents to invest locally, the survey said, highlighting that over one-third of respondents have all their assets invested in the Mena region. The survey also found that there is more dynamism in asset allocation among those funds with approximately 80% of their portfolio in the domestic market. “Despite the global financial crisis, a diversified and increasingly sophisticated asset management industry has emerged in the GCC over the past decade, QFCA CEO Shashank Srivastava said. “Qatar is playing a central role in the development of this industry with asset managers recognising the attractions of the compelling Qatar growth story and the unique opportunities Qatar offers,” he added.