Abu Dhabi (February 27, 2013) – The 2013 Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF) kicked-off today in Abu Dhabi by speeches from UAE and European leading policy makers who praised the phenomenal growth and rising influence of the UAE and provided analysis on the European situation.
“We have an open and fast growing economy, it is an economy that encourages competiveness, innovation and balances preserving our heritage in this global world,” said H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
H.E Sheikh Nahyan said that UAE cooperates with all nations, and that UAE’s growth is “creating opportunities for all.”
H.E. Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development who and the Chairman of NBAD, offered the Welcome Address. He recognized the contribution of the annual GFMF.
“This annual forum continues to provide a very effective and dynamic medium to discuss, analyze and debate the most critical financial issues of our times.
“We aim to achieve these goals, by inviting investors, policy-makers and thinkers from around the globe to come and share with us their outlook on global financial markets and their outlook on their economies,” said Mr. Alsowaidi,.
Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of French Republic, addressed the Forum in the speech titled “Eurozone; challenges, opportunities and the outlook.”
“What is happening here is … providing the world balance and equilibrium,” said Mr. Sarkozy. “UAE demonstrates loyalty to your root and (adopting) what is essential in the modern world.”
In response to questions, Mr. Sarkozy said European Union has helped to preserve peace in the continent and preserving it is necessary.
David Milliband, former British Foreign Secretary, took the podium after the former French president in an address titled: “Prosperity and Stability in Europe – UK Perspective.” Mr. Milliband predicted that Britain will not leave the European Union.
Also speaking today was H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, the Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, who highlighted “Benefits of establishing local Debt Market in the UAE.”
Mr. Al Suwaidi said a “domestic bond market would empower UAE companies to raise fund domestically and rely less on international markets. He also said as Basel II and III would require higher reserves, it would be critical to grow the domestic bond and sukuk market to empower UAE banks to raise money by issuing debt notes”.
“In addition to delivering great value to attendees, GFMF continues to raise Abu Dhabi’s standing and promote it as a global hub and an attractive destination,” said Sameh Abdulla Al Qubaisi, the General Manager of Corporate Coverage Group at NBAD’s Global Financial Markets.
GCC’s Debt Capital Market Remains Vigorous
In 2013, the GCC debt capital market should score another positive year as fundamentals favoring the market are expected to continue.
“2012 was a stellar year for capital debt markets and we expect a continued growth and maturing of this sector which will fuel accelerated growth across the economy,” says the Sameh Al Qubaisi, the General Manager of Corporate Coverage Group at National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s (NBAD) Global Financial Markets.
Issuances in the first month and half of 2013 has surpassed US$3 billion (AED11bn), with a number of issuers looking closely to tapping the market at the right window of opportunity. Volatility in credit spreads in the mature markets will continue to attract fixed income investors to markets in GCC.
GCC’s capital markets marked a record year as issuance reached nearly $42 billion (AED154 billion) in 2012 up from $27 Billion in 2011. GCC’s attractiveness for investors, relatively low interest rates and investors’ robust liquidity helped the market achieve a record year. It is expected that the amount would be around the same figure this year.
“The region experienced an increased direct capital inflow as investors shifted to investment in GCC paper,” says Fawaz Abusneineh, the Head of Debt Capital Markets at NBAD. “GCC notes also offer a premium over similarly rated European and North American issues and this has helped attract fixed income investors to this region.”
During 2012, nearly half of all GCC capital market debt was issued by UAE entities. The National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s (NBAD) Capital Debt Markets Group increased the number of transactions executed by around five times during the year.
Of the total 51 issues last year, 25 were bonds and sukuk issued by UAE companies, 11 in Saudi Arabia, 9 in Qatar, 3 each in Bahrain and Kuwait.
“UAE is crucial to the development of this market and we will see it becoming the center of the debt market of the region,” says Mr. Al Qubaisi.
Twenty-six of the issues were Sukuk. The largest note, Sukuk issued by the government of Qatar, holds a face value of US$4 billion. Issuers from the UAE included NBAD, Dolphin Energy, Abu Dhabi National Energy (Taqa), IPIC, Emaar, First Gulf Bank, Emirates NBD, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
2013 GFMF continues tomorrow in Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace, by speeches from renowned policy makers and critical discussions on the most pressing issues impacting world economics.
Since the first GFMF in 2009, the forum has been an unrivaled event in bringing prestigious thinkers and policy-makers to Abu Dhabi to analyze and debate the most critical issues impacting economy and allow investors to benefit from the most effective evaluation of the fundamentals.
In his keynote address, James A. Baker III, the former US Secretary of Treasury and State and a global statesman, will discuss agenda for growth after the great recession while Lawrence McDonald, author of “A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers”, will discuss the bond bubble.
Leading bankers and economists will participate in panel discussions on financial markets and banking.
The 2013 Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF) will be available virtually via the state-of-the-art AvayaLiveTM Engage, an interactive virtual conferencing that allows delegates who are unable to attend the forum in person to do instead through a virtual conferencing program. This is the first time in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) such a program is offered.
For details of 2013 GFMF please visit http://www.gfmf-nbad.com.