Investing ethically in the Middle East

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With several of the Middle East’s city-states becoming some of the world’s richest locations, it’s little surprise that an increasing number of people, particularly from the west and Far East, are looking at investment options in the region. Twinned with this however, is surge in investors looking for more ethical opportunities for their money.

Trading in ethically approved portfolios and carbon credits (although individuals should avoid these) for instance, is now big business as people consider the impact they’re having, particularly on the environment.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at how investors looking to move their money to the Middle East can do so while still making a positive difference.

Managed Investments

The simplest and most obvious route to take is to search for a wealth management company that offers eco-friendly and ethical investment portfolios. There are plenty of them about, and a quick search of the internet will give you a few options. You’ll then be able to put your capital straight into a fund based on approved assets, or the company will help tailor something for you. This is a great choice for those who like to know what they’re investing in, but aren’t too interested in the hands-on aspect of moving money about. It’s also worth doing your own research to establish whether or not the products they’re offering really are environmentally friendly however. Some companies will have different definitions as to what makes something sustainable or ethical.

Is Energy the Answer?

What is not at all obvious is the energy industry. It’s well known that a great deal of the Middle East’s wealth has come about because of huge oil reserves, which are sold all over the world. The problem with this of course is that investing your money in an industry that profits from gas-guzzling vehicles and inefficient manufacturing is not at all environmentally friendly. You might be surprised to hear then, that the region is actually making major inroads to improve its own energy production, and there was actually more than $30 billion driven into the renewable energy industry last year alone.

If you’re dead set on investing in the Middle East, and want to make your money work for the environment, then there are few better ways of doing it than looking at some of the available ETFs, or simply purchasing stock in some of the companies that are doing this work. If you’re new to moving finances abroad, then you should also consider using a specialist foreign exchange company such as Currencies Direct. Banks are rarely the best choice for either investment decisions or currency dealings.

Solar panelling is looking as though it could be one of the next major developments, with up to $50 billion in investment expected over the next six years. Much of the area has excellent sunlight all year round, which makes this form of energy production a no-brainer. Investors are certainly encouraged to look into this as a growing sector – there are many start-ups about, and those that will make the best returns will do so by identifying which of these eco-friendly businesses are the most likely to really break out. They could well be the major global energy providers of the future.

Image of UAE Dirhams from Shutterstock

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