90pc of GCC residents ‘not saving enough’
Manama, December 30, 2012
Nearly 90 per cent of GCC residents, both locals and expatriates, are not saving enough for their future, a report said.
Seventy-one per cent of residents, in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman do not put any money aside, compared with 74 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 65 per cent in the UAE, according to the annual National Bonds GCC Savings Index study, said a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily news.
Of those questioned, Saudi Arabia had the highest percentage of residents who felt they were not saving enough, 92 per cent, followed by Kuwait, 91 per cent, Bahrain, 88 per cent, the UAE, 87 per cent, Oman, 85 per cent and Qatar 84 per cent.
Now in its third year, the survey also revealed that just one per cent of residents in Bahrain, Saudi, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, and 2 per cent in Oman believed they were saving "more than enough".
It found 71 per cent of respondents in Bahrain, Saudi, the UAE, Qatar and Oman admitted saving less money than they originally planned, compared with 78 per cent in Kuwait.
Of those who do save, 45 per cent of people in the GCC revealed that they put aside only 10 per cent of their income or less.
However, two-thirds of respondents expressed plans to start saving in the next six months, with the highest figures recorded by residents in Oman, 76 per cent and Kuwait, 70 per cent.
Half of those surveyed expect their income to increase in the next six to 12 months, with only 6 per cent believing it may decrease in that time.
Qatar topped the list for consumer spending on products and services and Saudi residents spending the most of their income on rent.
The survey results also showed an increasing gap in travel trends between residents of GCC countries with people from Oman spending the least going abroad and those in the UAE most.
Reasons for saving money differed among Gulf residents, with retirement key priorities in Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, children's education in the UAE and Qatar and to buy property in Saudi.
A total of 1,140 Gulf residents were interviewed for the survey, which aimed to reveal the behaviour and attitudes of people saving and spending money.
It was released by National Bonds Corporation PJSC, a UAE-based Sharia-compliant savings scheme and investment company.
"This year we noticed that while there is a willingness to save, there is a lack of education as to what tools can be used to save money regularly and effectively," said its chief executive officer Mohammed Qassim Al Ali.
"The main reason for this is the culture of people consulting their immediate social circles rather than professional advisers.
"Our results actually showed that less than a fifth of people in the GCC consult financial advisers when selecting their savings plan and instruments, preferring to make the decision by themselves or consult, in order of importance, their spouse, family, friends and work colleagues first." – TradeArabia News Service