Sameh Abdulla Al Qubaisi, the General Manager of Institutional and Corporate Coverage Group at NBAD’s Financial Markets Division
Prominent bankers, economists, investors and executives will be in Abu Dhabi for the 2012 Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF) to offer insight and vital analysis on the critical issues affecting global economy and investors’ sentiments.
GFMF, the annual conference organised by the Financial Markets Division of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Number One Bank in the UAE, will commence on February 29 and concludes on March 1st, 2012. Every year, GFMF focuses on addressing the most current and critical issues of the day.
The Forum will begin by the keynote address by H.E. Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. Michael H. Tomalin, the Group Chief Executive of NBAD will offer the welcome address. Mr. Tomalin will also address the Forum on March 1st, discussing “UAE Market Fundamentals.”
Paul Volcker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve System and economic advisor to President Barak Obama, will follow Dr. Gargash and Mr. Tomalin with a keynote address is titled: “The Future of Global Financial Markets and the Impact of the Volcker Rule.”
Mr. Volcker will discuss his proposed financial reform rules that included restricting commercial banks from proprietary trading, which he called “speculative trading” because it adds an unnecessary layer of risk.
“Proprietary trading indirectly leads to conflicts of interest with bank customers, patterns of compensation and organizational culture out of keeping with traditional banking,” Mr. Volcker says during a recent discussion with GFMF organisers. “Commercial banks provide services essential to the economy - maintaining its payments system, lending particularly to small and medium-sized businesses, and providing a safe depositary for liquid funds. Those banks are supported by access to the central bank, deposit insurance, and other assistance in time of need. That government (aid) amounts to an indirect subsidy by taxpayers. That subsidy should not be extended to proprietary (i.e. speculative) trading.”
Mr. Volcker adds: “Abu Dhabi and the GCC should be supportive of the efforts to reform the financial system that so sadly broke down after the boom years of the 1990's and early 2000. The Arab nations can contribute to those efforts through membership in the IMF and other key international institutions, including financial support when required.”
Another keynote speaker at the Forum is Axel Weber, president of Deutsche Bundesbank, the German Central Bank, and a member of European Central Bank Governing Council. Mr. Weber will focus on the challenges of euro in his speech titled “Eurozone Challenges and Opportunities: The Central Banker.” Mr. Weber will address the Forum on March 1.
“2012 will be a challenging year for Europe and the Eurozone in particular,” Mr. Weber tells GFMF organisers. “Around the globe, the outlook for economic growth has deteriorated as the public sector, financial companies, and households in many advanced economies are retrenching simultaneously. At the same time, emerging market economies’ policy tightening, aimed at curbing inflationary pressures, is taking effect and has equally led to a reduction in regional growth prospects. The associated reduction of global aggregate demand and ensuing weakness in export markets is having a strong impact on European countries’ capabilities to put their public finances on a more solid footing and to implement profound structural reforms.”
Mahmood Al Aradi, the Senior General Manager of NBAD’s Financial Markets Division, says inviting central bankers to speak at 2012 GFMF would allow attendees to learn about what is ahead.
“Mr. Volcker’s and Mr. Weber’s insights into market factors, economic models and philosophy on recovery would be invaluable.” says Mr. Al Aradi. “The fact that these prominent speakers would be in Abu Dhabi to address matters of high concern to financial services industry confirms the significance of the Global Financial Markets Forum.”
The Eurozone’s challenges will be analysed further on March 1st by economist and broadcaster David McWilliams, whose address “Eurozone Challenges and Opportunities: the Economist” will offer a stimulating prediction on what is next for the Eurozone; and in a panel discussion comprising of Christophe Frankel, chief financial officer of European Financial Stability Facility; David McWilliams, and economist and broadcaster, Nicholas Gartside, chief Investment officer of Global Fixed Income and Currency Group at JP Morgan Asset Management; Dan James, head of global markets alpha portfolio development at Aviva Investors; and Raphael Gallardo, head of macroeconomic research at AXA Investment Managers.
One of NBAD’s aims in organising GFMF is to bring Abu Dhabi’s success story to the centre stage. This is why GFMF organisers invited James Hogan, chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, who will speak about “The Role of Etihad in the Development of Abu Dhabi Economy.”
The 4th GFMF comes about a year after Arab Spring began, which continues to reshape the geopolitics of the MENA region. Speakers and panelist who will discuss the impacts of Arab Spring are Steven Jacobs, chief executive officer of BTG Pactual Asset Management; Yong Ngee Ng, chief executive officer of Tahan Capital; DatukNoripahKamso, chief executive officer of CIMB Principal Islamic Asset Management, and Mr. Bocchi of Kuwait China Investment Company.
Dr. Florence Eid, chief executive officer of Arabia Monitor, will shed light on “Market Fundamentals in MENA.”
A panel comprising of Serge Lepine, chief investment officer of Bahrain's Mumtalakat Holding Company, and Alessandro Magnoli Bocchi, chief economist and member of management team and investment committee of Kuwait China Investment Company, will discuss “Institutional Investor Roundtable: Investment and Asset Allocation Trends.”
Commodities will be discussed by panelists Jean Michaud, managing director and senior commodity strategist at Jefferies Asset Management (USA); John Tilney, portfolio manager at Armajaro Asset Management (UK); and Alex O Cinneide, head of investments, Masdar Capital in the panel discussion “The Commodities Debate.”
The Forum concludes with a discussion n “alternative investments” by Ian Banwell, chief executive officer, chief investment officer and founder of Round Table; Dr Russell Read, chief investment officer of Gulf Investment Corporation; Mark Bandak, managing director of Investcorp; and Jeremy Waters, Partner International Investment at Knight Frank.
“The annual Global Financial Markets Forum is recognised as an important medium for investors and financial thinkers to learn and discuss about critical issues of the day in one of the most important emerging regions of the world,” says Sameh Abdulla Al Qubaisi, the General Manager of Institutional and Corporate Coverage Group at NBAD’s Financial Markets Division.
“This year’s conference will address some very important issues, such as the economic outlook for Europe and US and their impact on the global economies. In addition, there will be focused discussion on regional infrastructure financing, debt capital markets as well as coverage on various asset classes such as real estate, commodities, foreign exchange and interest rates.”