May 20, 2008

Deutsche Bank Survey indicates Allocation by Hedge Funds into Middle East Markets

Deutsche Bank announced today that hedge fund investment clients plan to increase their allocations to emerging markets, with the Middle East predicted as top performer among all regions.

Deutsche Bank’s findings came as part of its annual Alternative Investment Survey which polled more than a thousand investors representing US$1 trillion in hedge fund industry assets. The survey is considered as the most extensive survey of hedge fund investor sentiment in the industry.

Close to 50% of those surveyed were bullish on the Middle East markets, with no firm surveyed indicating that it was planning to reduce its exposure to the region. Twelve percent of those surveyed indicated that they will maintain current exposure levels, and 32% plan to increase it.

Penry Jackson, Managing Director – Global Markets at Deutsche Bank in Dubai said: “The results are a clear indication that global hedge fund investors are extremely bullish on the region. The Middle East is viewed differently from other emerging markets by investors, largely because it is nascent, holds tremendous potential, with very attractive company valuations. While some emerging markets might have peaked, the Middle East is seen as not having realized its full potential yet. We would expect to see many of the traditional barriers to entry in these markets being lowered in the medium term to enable further growth.”

Those most interested in the region were consultants, family offices, high-net worth individuals, and wealth management companies. The Middle East/North Africa is a new listing on the survey for 2008.

Globally, hedge funds investors predicted that Macro, Distressed and Equity Volatility will be the top performing strategies for 2008.

Sixty-one percent of investors indicated that they would opt to invest in macro investment strategies that are less sensitive to the equity markets. Appetite was also high for distressed and equity volatility, which came in second and third place, with 41% and 37% of investors respectively predicting these strategies will perform well. On the other hand asset backed securities focused funds were overwhelmingly expected to be the worst performers.

Overall outlook for the current year remains bearish among 80% of those surveyed, with 40% expecting the world economy to pick up in 2009.

As a result, 30% of investors are holding cash, with over half of the respondents saying that they are willing to eliminate it by March 2009.

This cautious approach is reflected in the increased emphasis among investors on risk management. Hedge fund investors said that the third most important criteria in choosing their manager is risk management, preceded by investment performance and investment philosophy.

Contrasting with their bearish global economic views, most investors were bullish on the hedge fund industry with expectations that it will manage to attract a median inflow of US$ 200 billion in 2008.

Mimicking the trend in the hedge fund industry, 58% of investors said that they would not opt for leverage in their portfolios under the current market conditions.

The survey focused on the following investor categories: banks, corporations and insurance companies; consultants; family offices, high-net worth individuals, wealth management companies; funds of funds; pensions, endowments and foundations.

Deutsche Bank
Dana Budeiri
Head of Communications
Middle East & North Africa
Tel: +971 4 361 1744
Mobile: +971 50 640 3924

About Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is a leading global investment bank with a strong and profitable private clients franchise. A leader in Germany and Europe, the bank is continuously growing in North America, Asia and key emerging markets. With 78,275 employees in 76 countries, Deutsche Bank offers unparalleled financial services throughout the world. The bank competes to be the leading global provider of financial solutions for demanding clients creating exceptional value for its shareholders and people.

Deutsche Bank’s commitment in the MENA region is more than a century old, beginning with the Bank’s financing of the construction of the Baghdad railway.

Deutsche Bank opened its first office in Cairo in 1959, followed in the early seventies by an office in Bahrain. In 1999, Deutsche Bank embarked on a regional expansion drive across the GCC which began with the opening of an office in the UAE’s Capital Abu Dhabi in 1999, followed by two offices in Dubai: a representative office inaugurated in 2001 and a branch at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in 2005. In April of 2006, Deutsche Bank opened a branch in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the capital Riyadh. Most recently in November of 2007, Deutsche Bank opened its branch in the Qatar Financial Centre in Doha.

Deutsche Bank AG in the MENA region offers the full range of investment banking, asset management; private wealth management; and global transaction banking services. Deutsche Bank’s AG is well recognized for its leading role on some of the most prestigious regional transactions. The Bank is the recipient of several awards for its activities in Islamic Finance; and was proclaimed in 2007 as the Best M&A Bank in Middle East & North Africa by Global Finance World.