Oil Rich Nations Place Their Bets

Found a highly insightful article in the recent Harvard Business Review (subscription required) which examines where oil-rich Gulf countries are investing staggering sums brought about by the combination of the gigantic American trade deficit and the price of oil at more than $125 per barrel which have created an attendant pool of financial liquidity among oil exporters in the Gulf.  As the article notes, many emerging markets are the beneficiaries of this new wealth:

“…this era of petrodollar surpluses is markedly different from the last one.

In the 1970s, the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—outsourced the management of their petrodollars to American and UK bankers. This time around, they have adopted active investment and development strategies: They are investing heavily in large Western organizations as well as in emerging markets in Africa and India. They are spending lavishly at home to establish institutional infrastructures, to create free-trade zones for manufacturing and services, and to build recreational facilities that will attract businesses, skilled knowledge workers, and tourists.

…Gulf investors are more comfortable than their Western counterparts with forging deals in emerging economies—partly because of their diasporic links and cultural ties to some of these countries and partly because they have fewer concerns than Westerners about whether these regions embrace democratic norms. As one Middle Eastern telecommunications executive told us, “The big boys have a lot of fear going into the developing world. They don’t know what to expect, and so they stay away. We usually know what to expect—and even if we don’t, we are comfortable enough with uncertainty to take a risk…”

This entry was posted on Friday, August 29th, 2008 at 9:09 am and is filed under Abu Dhabi, Dubai, UAE.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. 

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About This Blog
Wildcats & Black Sheep is a personal interest blog dedicated to the identification and evaluation of maverick investment opportunities arising in frontier - and, what some may consider to be, “rogue” or “black sheep” - markets around the world.

Focusing primarily on The New Seven Sisters - the largely state owned petroleum companies from the emerging world that have become key players in the oil & gas industry as identified by Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent for The Financial Times - but spanning other nascent opportunities around the globe that may hold potential in the years ahead, Wildcats & Black Sheep is a place for the adventurous to contemplate & evaluate the emerging markets of tomorrow.