UAE. Henry Azzam, Deutsche Bank CEO for the MENA region, expects the loss of assets of Gulf sovereign wealth funds to reach to US$ 450 billion.
“This loss is equivalent to the region’s oil income for a whole year,” said Azzam, in an exclusive interview with CNBC Arabiya Fil Omoq programme.
One of the region’s most respected economists and chief executives told CNBC Arabiya viewers that the region’s sovereign funds may not perform well in 2009 after poor 2008 results.
During the show, Azzam talked about his vision and expectations for the real estate market in the UAE.
“If multinational companies and banks in Dubai keep reducing their workforce, as well as the exit of the professionals who buy and rent real estate, then the correction process in the market might take longer time, or won’t end in 2009," said Azzam.
Commenting on the affects of the current economic climate on the banking sector, Azzam said: “Investment banks are facing problems today, and a possible solution for those banks which have some capital is to acquire weaker commercial banks. With that we’ll create more trade and investment banks”.
Looking forward to 2009, Azzam said that the region should focus on key historical lessons and employ tactics to ensure financial growth.
“We must not lose what has been gained during the past 20 years, all of the openness should not go back to closure, on the contrary, we should learn from the crisis, and there should be some smart monitoring and controls employed,” added Azzam.
Deutsche Bank, the largest German bank and one of the world’s leading global investment banks, has developed a strong presence in the MENA region, operating out of the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt and Algeria.
The region’s first and premier 24-hour live Arabic Business TV channel, CNBC Arabiya, recently re-launched to include 12 new programmes. Along with a new programming schedule, the CNBC Arabiya re-launch reveals a brand new studio layout with more capacity for live links.
The full interview with Henry Azzam airs on Monday 22 December 2008 at 10.00pm (UAE time).