UAE Exchange, a subsidiary of payments solutions firm NMC Group, was the most active investor from the Middle East in the first three quarters of 2014, according to data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets. With 52 investments announced in the period, UAE Exchange was the most prolific investor, followed by two other United Arab Emirates-based companies, construction firm Arabtec Holding and retail and leisure facilities operator Majid Al Futtain Group. Arabtec and Majid announced 15 and 14 projects in the period, respectively.
UAE Exchange's strategy, aimed at expanding the company's network of currency exchange and remittances, saw the firm open branches across Asia, North America, Africa and the Middle East. The largest investment destination was India, where the company launched 19 projects, followed by the US with eight, and Morocco and Kuwait with five each.
The largest construction company in the Gulf, Arabtec invested heavily in Egypt in 2014, announcing the launch of 13 residential property projects in the country at an estimated value of more than $3bn. The company also announced new projects in Serbia and Iraq. Similarly, Majid made significant investment in Egypt, with plans to open five shopping malls across the country. It also invested in Kenya, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Bahrain and Georgia.
UAE-based investors were the most prolific investors in the Middle East in the first three quarters of 2014, fDi Markets data shows. UAE-based companies recorded 194 projects in the period, ahead of Israeli and Saudi companies, which announced 56 and 32 greenfield ventures, respectively. The most popular expansion sector was financial services, which accounted for 24% of all projects originating from the Middle East. Other popular sectors included software and IT, real estate and transportation.