Richard Banks, Director, Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference
Even though the economic effect of the stimulus granted by the government this year is expected to spur Saudi Arabia’s economic growth by 5.5 percent in 2011, there is a fundamental need in the Kingdom to move away from the direct state/bank funding model and to a pragmatic use of more diversified capital sources to fund the Saudi private sector. Experts from around the world will meet at this year’s Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference in Riyadh to discuss how the kingdom can create access to different sources of capital and the challenges behind it.
“This year’s panel sessions will explore the specific developments in various Saudi financial markets – such as commodities, real estate and equity - and what these developments mean for the wider financial development of the Kingdom,” said Richard Banks, Director, Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference. “Practitioners such as Sikander Zaman, Head of Specialised Finance at NCB, Keith Savard, Director Economic Research at SAMBA and Clive Rates, Managing Director, Advisory, at HSBC Saudi Arabia, will discuss the new financial landscape and the place which Saudi Arabia is taking on the global stage.”
Euromoney Saudi Arabia 2011 takes place at a crucial time. Raw materials markets are proving highly resilient to aftershocks from the financial crisis; oil prices are again trading consistently above $100/barrel. But how long has the commodity supercycle left to run with raw materials shortages, geo-political risks back on the agenda and the demands of emerging markets soaring? Key trends in important commodities will be under scrutiny at this year’s conference.
Banks went on to say: “Bank lending was slow in 2010 and one of the main impediments to the economic recovery in Europe. First positive steps were taken in Saudi Arabia as banks are set to double lending to the private sector this year and see higher profits than last year, however, this is partly due to government distributions of more than $100 billion. An expert panel will explore alternative capital sources for banks that would insure a gradual move away governmental funding.”
Increased lending would be driven by economic activity in the kingdom where multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects are underway, which puts public sector and infrastructure financing strategies on the agenda of Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference 2011. Further, SMEs as key contributors to economic growth in the region as well as competitive devaluations and their effect on Saudi Arabia will be discussed at this year’s conference.
Each year Euromoney Saudi Arabia is dedicated to providing an agenda that covers the most pressing issues facing the Saudi economy. The Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference will be held at Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh on 17 and 18 May 2011 in official partnership with the Saudi Ministry of Finance for the sixth year in a row.