August 6, 2015
Opening your company for international investments
If the idea of opening your company for international investments seems daunting, take a look at how global finances developed in the early 21st Century. The twin themes of boom and bust have already played out on the world stage when established markets such as North America and Europe suffered crashes, slowdowns and recessions. Meanwhile, emerging economies saw incredible increases in productivity and GDP. Even though domestic investment is still a priority for many companies in the U.S. and elsewhere, looking at overseas based investors is no longer seen as a risky option.
With online trading continuing to break down barriers in the international marketplace, very few commercial concerns can afford to ignore the trends. Knowing where to start finding overseas investments can be difficult, but looking at recent merger and acquisition activity can provide important pointers.
Pros and cons
As with most things in business, anything that offers rewards can be full of pitfalls, and international investments are no different. However, if you are aware of the dangers, you can make good judgment calls in your favor.
Foreign markets can be volatile for many reasons. Socio-political influences are one reason, and overpriced equity and property markets can also present a “bubble” danger. Having a good overview of the recent history of a country plays an important role in making a good decision.
Obviously potential investors come in all shapes and sizes such as governments, large corporations, hedge funds and high worth individuals. Your own business operations will affect the type of investor that you attract. For instance, cultural differences may come in to play. In other cases, the opportunity for an overseas investor to tap into your own domestic market will be the deciding factor.
Advice and knowledge
The wealth of opportunities from a range of investors can present a challenge when it comes to sorting the good from the bad. Talking to established industry figures with in-depth experience of international finance is the wisest choice.
Kuwaiti national Fahad Al-Rajaan built his career on making investments. After being educated at Victoria College in Cairo and the American University in Washington, D.C., he swiftly became a recognized and influential presence.
He has been Director General of PIFSS since 1984 and is also currently chairman of Ahli United Bank-Bahrain and Wafra Investment Advisory Group in New York. Other previous experience as chairman of the Egyptian Gulf Bank and Deputy Chairman of the Industrial Bank of Kuwait illustrates his grasp of the workings of international investment.
Al-Rajaan speaks excellent English, and resides in both Geneva and Miami. His 35 years of government service give him the perfect background for pursuing private business ventures.
Perhaps the single most important thing the start of this century will be known for is the way that business finally became truly international. Today, there is every reason to take full advantage of foreign investments to make the most of your own business, wherever you are based.