Praemium announced on 25 June it has launched its Smartfunds range into the UAE market following regulatory approval by the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).
The range comprises three Smartfunds – growth, balanced and cautious – and two Smartfund 80% protected funds – growth and balanced.
These risk-graded funds are run by Praemium’s in-house Smart Investment Management team.
The Smartfund 80% Protected range offers the potential growth returns of global multi-asset strategies with the benefit of 80% capital protection, the protection component being provided by Morgan Stanley.
In April, Praemium reported its third highest gross inflows on record and saw funds under administration rise 5.2% to A$7.8bn (£4.25bn, $6bn, €4.9bn) during the first quarter of 2018.
All five registered Smartfunds will be on Mashreq Bank’s panel for distribution by advisers within its private and premier banking channels.
Mashreq has more than 50 years’ experience in banking and financial services, is listed on the Dubai Financial Market and has 44 branches in the Emirates.
Praemium also said in the announcement it had moved its Dubai office to the DIFC “for the purpose of promoting, arranging and marketing the activities of all the entities in the Praemium Group”.
Established in 2004, the DIFC is a 110-hectare district regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
It is one of Dubai’s independent free-zones, which means it offers companies 100% ownership without the need for a local partner.
Praemium chief executive Michael Ohanessian said the fund launch and office relocation enforces the investment platform’s long-term commitment to the UAE.
“This is a significant step forward in the Gulf State markets, as we are one of the very first retail platforms to be established within the DIFC,” Ohanessian said.
Mark Sanderson, recently appointed as senior executive officer of the DIFC branch, added: “Increased regulation of the financial services sector in the UAE and wider region is driving the need for better client engagement and quality investment products”.
“We firmly believe that this is the right time for Praemium to expand our presence in the UAE.”
Commenting on Praemium’s announcement, Lafitani Sotiriou, a senior analyst at Bell Potter, said: “We see this as a clever move, capitalising on a market hungry for modern and simple to use products, accessible via an investment platform, rather than packaged life products which tend to dominate the UAE at the moment.”
Sotiriou said Praemium has already been selling its Smartfunds range in the UAE through limited means and an international partner with a market licence.
“However, with a local licence and local partner, the flows are likely to further accelerate,” Sotiriou said.