Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Wealthy Latin Americans more likely to invest in Middle East

A UBS report shows wealthy Latin American families are more likely to invest in the Middle East than US or European counterparts Alamy via Reuters
A UBS report shows wealthy Latin American families are more likely to invest in the Middle East than US or European counterparts
  • 1% of family wealth invested in Middle East
  • Expected to rise to 3%
  • Latin Americans double global average

Wealthy Latin American families were more present as investors in the Middle East than those from other parts of the world in 2023, a global banking report says, but overall numbers are low and down from 2022. 

UBS bank’s Global Family Office Report for 2024 showed that Latin American families had placed 2 percent of their wealth in the Middle East, while their Asian, European and North American peers had only 1 percent invested in the region. 

The global average for the Middle East was 1 percent of family offices’ wealth. The report did not give hard figures. 



This was down from a total 5 percent in 2022 and 4 percent in 2021, but the report has the total rising from 1 percent in 2023 to 3 percent in 2024. 

Middle East families were the biggest investor, placing 17 percent of their wealth in the Middle East region in 2023. 

The report did not give details, but the US-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute lists 84 family offices in the region, mostly based in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

According to a 2023 report by consultants Agreus, total assets under management will rise by 46 percent to $500 billion by 2025, and 32 percent have assets under management of $2.1 billion to $5 billion each. 

But Agreus notes that the family office concept remains nascent. Only 43 percent of family offices in the region have operated for over a decade. 

Switzerland’s UBS said North America and Western Europe were the most attractive locations overall, accounting for 50 percent and 27 percent respectively of global investment in 2023. 

“Family offices, on average, have half of their portfolios invested in North American asset classes,” the report said, citing US companies’ role in leading the development of artificial intelligence. 

It said that family offices in the Middle East are looking to diversify mainly through active management, hedge funds and increasing illiquid assets, with less interest in fixed income investments, whether short or long-term. 

Business consultants expressed surprise at the relatively high Latin American presence. 

“We’ve seen very little investment coming from Latin America into the Middle East,” said Yvonne Biesinger of Creation Business Consultants, which is based in Riyadh and Dubai.

“The bigger trend we’ve seen is inward investment from China and Hong Kong.”

Paul Aver of UAE-based Frontier Path also said Latin American family offices were not very visible. “I believe that Indian family offices are very substantial,” he said. “I also see a lot of Emirati and Saudi families.”

Saudi Arabia will have a chance to promote Latin American interest at its first Future Investment Initiative summit in South America, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June, focused on AI and renewable energy.

Latest articles

Shoppers choose vegetables in Istanbul; inflation means people are spending on essentials

Turkish retailers’ confidence wavers as inflation bites

Confidence is falling among Turkish retailers, according to a survey from the country’s statistics agency Turkstat. Shoppers have been scaling back on big-ticket purchases, spending instead on basic consumer goods as inflation piles pressure on household incomes. May’s business confidence report, released by Turkstat on June 24, showed sentiment in the retail sector at its […]

Water is handed out to pilgrims in Mecca. Hundreds of pilgrims without a Hajj permit died during extreme heat last week

Egypt shuts down 16 travel companies after Hajj tragedy

Egypt has withdrawn the operating licences of 16 travel companies for organising unlicensed Hajj trips to Saudi Arabia. A statement from the Egyptian government said the companies would be prosecuted and fined, with the funds used to compensate pilgrims’ families for their loss.  Hundreds of Egyptians were among 1,301 people who died of exposure to […]

A floating production unit in Israel's Karish gas field in the eastern Mediterranean. Carlyle is creating a new oil and gas company to manage the field

New Carlyle entity to manage East Med gas projects

Carlyle, the Nasdaq-listed private equity company, is creating a new oil and gas company to manage recently-acquired assets in the Mediterranean hydrocarbons market. The new as yet un-named entity will be led by former BP CEO Tony Hayward and will manage a portfolio of gas-weighted exploration and production assets in Italy, Egypt and Croatia, according […]

Spinneys plans to open another 12 stores in Saudi Arabia by 2028

Spinneys opens first Saudi supermarket in Riyadh

Spinneys has opened its first supermarket in Saudi Arabia and is planning a further 12 stores in the country by 2028. The UAE supermarket operator listed on the Dubai Financial Market last month and raised AED1.38 billion ($375.7 million) from its initial public offering, which was oversubscribed almost 64 times. The first Spinneys in Saudi […]