HSBC hosts the 19th Middle East Economics Roadshow in Kuwait
KUWAIT: More than 150 people gathered at the JW Marriot hotel recently for HSBC’s 19th Middle East Economics Roadshow. The event saw David Bloom, Global Head of Foreign Exchange Strategy, and Simon Williams, Chief Economist, CEEMEA, discuss the most important global and regional trends shaping the Middle East’s economies. Each year, the roadshow visits Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Riyadh.
Simon Williams said: “Two years after oil prices started to fall, the slump in energy earnings still dominates the regional outlook. The Gulf is wealthy enough to weather the downturn, but the price will be high - falling reserves, rising debt, and slowing growth against a backdrop of spending cuts that still have years to run. Without a fresh pick up in oil prices, only structural reform can turn the story around - a tough ask for a region that has spent two generations depending on its oil receipts.”
David Bloom said: “Currencies seem to be broken up into three distinct drivers: cyclical, structural, and political. However, as far as the big trended moves in foreign exchange are concerned, politics has been the main driver. For example, Abe in Japan, Modi in India, Rousseff in Brazil and of course in the UK with Brexit. Lastly, we recently woke up to a game changer for FX when we were surprised to discover the mighty US dollar is also a political currency. This change now indicates caution when it comes to emerging markets.”