Almost 60 per cent of finance professionals working in the Middle East are expecting a bonus this year, according to a new survey by website eFinancialCareers.
Among them, 65 per cent are expecting fatter bonuses compared to last year, much higher when compared to their peers in the UK (56 per cent), the US (60 per cent) and Singapore (42 per cent).
The survey also found that nine per cent believe that their bonuses will fall, again much lower than their global counterparts in France (21 per cent), the US (14 per cent) and Singapore (22 per cent).
Up to 26 per cent of the respondents from the Middle East also expect no change in their bonuses from last year.
For those expecting either an increase or no change in their bonus, company and personal performance were the most cited reasons, the survey stated.
James Bennett, managing director of eFinancialCareers, said: “This year’s results almost mirror last year’s confidence in bonus expectations, with those expecting to receive an increase in their bonus (65 per cent) marginally higher than last year (61 per cent).
“The market’s sentiment for the region has been on a high this year, thanks largely to the MSCI’s classification of the UAE and Qatar as emerging market. These markets in particular have witnessed an increase in foreign and domestic investment aiding the robust recovery within financial institutions, with employees expecting recognition for their hard work and effort in recent years.”
The Middle East’s financial sector has been booming in the last two years, especially in the Gulf region. Apart from the UAE and Qatar, a big development in the industry also came from Saudi Arabia, after the Kingdom announced that it would open its bourse to direct foreign investment from 2015.
Another industry within the financial space that has seen sharp growth is the Islamic finance sector, with the UAE alone boasting total Islamic banking assets of $95 billion in 2013, up 14 per cent from 2012.