Financial Markets Conference challenges industry experts to brace for change

  • ICA Conference in Dubai to address the rise of populism in the West, the importance of GCC sovereign wealth funds and the sharing economy

A leading economic macro analyst has called for a “Mini Marshall Plan” to help the Middle East push up economic growth and reduce dependency on commodities.

Christopher Dembik, head macro analyst at SAXO Bank and a speaker at the 42nd ICA Conference in Dubai, has suggested that an aid initiative, smaller in scale but akin to the European Recovery Programme rolled out by the USA to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War II, could include major regional infrastructure projects in energy, transport and water, and further steps towards deeper financial market integration.

“For foreign investors, it is crucial that liquidity is high and regulation more business-friendly in the Middle East region,” said Dembik.  “Progress has been made in that direction recently and we believe that Saudi Aramco’s IPO will clearly be positive for the region and push investors to look at other business and financial opportunities in the Middle-East.”

Dembik joins an unrivalled panel of experts at the upcoming ICA Conference, taking place from 22-25 November at the Sofitel Hotel and Resort, The Palm, Dubai, including key note speaker Sir Peter Westmacott, British Ambassador to the United States from 2012 to 2016.

Other experts include Colin Ellis, Managing Director and Chief Credit Officer EMEA at Moody’s Investors Service; Huw Pill, Chief European economist and co-head of the European Economics team at Global Investment Research; Jennifer Hansen, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Sales Strategy and Execution at SAXO Markets; João Pedro Goncalves, Financial Economist, LSE UNDP; Carla Slim, Chief Economist at Standard Chartered Bank; Michael Creed, Senior Manager, Policy and Strategy, Dubai Financial Services Authority; Chelsea Rustrum, author and publisher from San Francisco, among many others.

The four day 42nd ICA Conference and exhibition is organised by the UAE Financial Markets Association in collaboration with the International Cambist Association (ICA) and strategic partner Emirates NBD.

Outlining what delegates at the conference can expect to hear from him during his ‘Global Growth Outlook: Lowered Expectations?’ session, Dembik said: “I consider this period of global optimism regarding the path of growth quite worrying as there are early signs that economic growth may be lower than expected in coming years.

“Based on our calculations, China’s credit impulse was down 25% year on year in the second quarter of 2017 and as the IMF reminded us recently, China accounts for around one third of global growth impulse.  This may, in turn, lead to lower global GDP growth and higher risk of market correction.

“The 42nd ICA Conference is a not to miss event for the financial industry, and as part of the local business in the Middle East it makes sense that SAXO Bank attends.  We have a long-standing relationship with many Middle Eastern countries and clients and so being at the event is a way to support the efforts to promote the region as a key financial hub.”

Mohammed Al Hashemi, President of the UAE Financial Markets Association, said: “This year’s theme is ‘Bracing for Change’ and will see our speakers and delegates tackle leading issues such as the rise of populism in the West, opening up to new ideas and the rise of the sharing economy, prized assets and the increasing importance of GCC Sovereign Wealth Funds, capital markets to the rescue and a focus on home grown talent from local and international perspectives.”

The 42nd ICA Conference is supported by Strategic Partner Emirates NBD, Gold Sponsors FAB (First Abu Dhabi Bank), ICAP Middle East and Murex, Silver Sponsors ADIB and Tullett Liberty (Bahrain) and Bronze Sponsor SAXO MARKETS. More information on registering to attend is available on www.icaconference.com.