April 21, 2024

Kevin O’Leary Says New York, London And Hong Kong Don’t Compare To This Global Financial Hub — ‘There’s No Way They’re Going to Grow This Fast’

Kevin O’Leary, known as Mr. Wonderful from “Shark Tank,” has recently spotlighted Abu Dhabi as a burgeoning global financial hub, surpassing traditional giants like New York, London and Hong Kong in terms of growth potential.

In a December interview with Virgin Radio in Dubai, O’Leary expressed his bullish outlook on the investment landscape in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly in Abu Dhabi, which he sees as a dynamic and rapidly evolving market.

O’Leary’s investment in the UAE stock market, particularly the endorsement of the M2 exchange in Abu Dhabi, underscores his confidence in the region’s regulatory frameworks and its potential as a haven for institutional investors. He highlighted the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) for providing a conducive environment for high-growth companies listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). O’Leary described Abu Dhabi as the “capital of capital,” anticipating significant developments in the area and distinguishing it from the economic challenges faced by the U.S. because of inflation​​.

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Further emphasizing Abu Dhabi’s appeal, O’Leary touted its potential to become a global center for crypto innovation, potentially eclipsing the U.S. This perspective is backed by the regulatory clarity and liquidity in the UAE’s crypto sector, with the M2 exchange highlighted for its compliance, stability and potential to attract institutional capital. The exchange has already secured an Abu Dhabi Global Market  (ADGM) license, demonstrating the region’s forward-thinking approach to financial technology​​.

O’Leary’s involvement in Access Abu Dhabi, a program aimed at encouraging U.S. companies, particularly those led by women and minorities, to expand to the Middle East, signifies his commitment to fostering cross-border business opportunities. By comparing Abu Dhabi to Switzerland in terms of financial technology because of its regulatory environment and agile government, O’Leary showcases the UAE’s strategic position as a nexus for innovation and investment​​​​.

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His advocacy for Abu Dhabi reflects a broader narrative of global financial dynamics shifting toward markets that offer regulatory foresight, innovation-friendly ecosystems and strategic geographic advantages. Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a financial, tech and crypto hub underlines the region’s ambitions to redefine its global economic stature, attracting attention from high-profile investors like O’Leary who are keen to capitalize on its growth trajectory.

O’Leary is no stranger to bold bets or controversy.  Mr. Wonderful has been a long-time member of ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank,” being a lead cast member for all 15 seasons. This has continually made him a prominent figure in the startup investing and venture capital realm. Like many venture capitalists, he made big bets on crypto, including the popular FTX Trading Ltd. exchange, going into the sector’s collapse. While O’Leary now recognizes this as a mistake, he still stands by blockchain being a powerful tool that will eventually become an integral part of the financial markets. O’Leary reaffirmed as much in his latest interview.

This comes at a time when Bitcoin continues to climb near all-time highs, including recently reaching a price of over $50,000 per Bitcoin.

However, the popular investor has made several other financial technology plays that have seemingly worked out in recent years. O’Leary is an investor in the popular retail startup investing platform StartEngine, and an advocate of the equity crowdfunding space. The industry allows everyday investors to invest in high-growth startups for as little as $100. The industry continues to see record growth and hundreds of millions raised from retail investors.

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This article Kevin O’Leary Says New York, London And Hong Kong Don’t Compare To This Global Financial Hub — ‘There’s No Way They’re Going to Grow This Fast’ originally appeared on Benzinga.com

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