Commerzbank of Germany says:
The booming GCC countries and Asia, the most dynamic region in the world economy, strengthen their trade and investment ties. The combined growth potential implies new investment opportunities not only for local players but also for international corporates and financial institutions. The growing importance of Islamic banking products has been highlighted recently by S&P announcement to launch a BRIC Shariah Index. International banks focus not only on the Gulf countries but also on Malaysia and Indonesia to provide Islamic banking services. Turkey could become a focus in Europe. The Islamic banking approach emphasises the fact that international investors are looking for fresh investment opportunities in new markets. Apart from the GCC states, this trend brings far less mature markets in Africa and Asia into play. Countries such as Germany, which provide high-technology products are in a favourable position to benefit further from the acceleration in investment and diversification activities in the GCC countries. The investment activities of GCC companies in new African and Asian markets may also pave the way for German companies to increase their activities in markets with a less stable investment environment. Stalled trade talks between the US, the UAE and Qatar may lead to a longer term orientation of the Gulf corporates towards Asia. Traditional trade ties with India may prove as a favourable base for bridging two regions of rapid economic and social change. The outlined economic trends underline the potential for the GCC stock markets, which could be utilised, if the integration and liberalisation of the GCC financial markets will be advanced.
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