Dubai: National Bonds has doubled its investment size to Dh14 billion (first-half of 2023) compared to the Dh8 billion it managed in 2020.
“We are now close to Dh14 billion worth of investments that we manage for our investors,” said CEO Mohammed Qasim Al Ali. “We have doubled our funds from 2020. Pre-2019, our growth was at approximately five per cent. Now, our average growth is about 25 per cent,” he said. This indicates an accelerated growth in the culture of savings in the UAE.
“The public is understanding the importance of savings to protect themselves and their loved ones and getting more returns on the money that is sitting idle.”
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Diversification is key
The fund management company said its investment philosophy continues on low- to medium-risk avenues across multiple sectors. “The nature of our fund is (to ensure) capital protection and then focus on growth,” said Al Ali. About 50 per cent of the fund’s investments are in fixed income (bank deposits), and about 8 per cent is in listed equities. “National Bonds has also increased its share in the education institution Taleem by 5 per cent, raising our total share to 22 per cent. We were also an anchor investor (Dh 200 million) when Al Ansari launched an IPO,” he explained.
In real estate, the company currently has investments worth Dh3.7 billion (25 per cent). “We are continuing to receive risk-adjusted steady returns on all categories of our real estate investments,” Al Ali added. The CEO also said that the company has no plans for any acquisitions. “This is not the right acquisition market because valuations are at the highest level ever… We might consider it once the market cools down.”
From the product side, National Bonds have focused heavily on the ‘Golden Savings Club’, a scheme principally targeted at managing funds provided by UAE employers.
Commenting on its success, Al Ali said more than 100 companies have registered for the plan since its launch in late 2021. “Our success rate has been better with smaller companies with a staff size of about 20-40 employees. Big companies take time to decide since a board oversees financial activities,” explained Al Ali. The CEO said it also plans to launch another savings scheme sometime in September this year.
“We have also seen a huge increase (of 176 per cent) in the disciplined monthly savings plans that our customers opted for in the first-half of 2023 compared to last year. It indicates that people have learned much from the pandemic experience on the importance of having an emergency fund,” said Al Ali.