The two-day summit saw attendance from over 200+ bankers, economists, bond issuers, SWFs, institutional investors & funds, among others.
Singapore: Across two power-packed days, an engaged audience of over 200 key industry leaders witnessed critical insights unfold at the 7th edition of the WIBC Capital Markets Summit Asia (WIBC Asia 2019). Convened by Middle East Global Advisors, WIBC Asia 2019 was held in strategic partnership with Singapore Exchange (SGX) on July 01 & 02 at the SGX Auditorium in Singapore.
The forum spearheaded a series of discussions addressing the theme of “Strengthening Investment Outlook through Robust Capital Markets” and rolled out the ASEAN’s most comprehensive capital markets programme comprising of visionary keynote presentations, the latest financial & investment outlook and Islamic finance focused tracks.
“We are very pleased to support this forum, which is taking place in Singapore for the first time. As Asia’s most international exchange offering multi-asset solutions to companies globally, we are delighted to be a part of these conversations as we seek to meet our clients’ fundraising, investment and risk management needs in an ever-changing business environment,” said SGX spokesperson.
Renowned Industry Leader Richad Soundardjee, Chief Executive Officer, Société Générale Middle East, delivered the opening keynote address on Day One of the summit, focusing on socially responsible investments. “What we are seeing in the GCC, the greenshoots of a brand new investment and financing space, can actually be a great opportunity for cross-fertilization with Asian market places. Either through Asian investors finding more and more opportunities to invest in a region led by a vision of sustainability without compromising on returns or the other way around through the large amount of wealth and of Islamically managed wealth in the GCC that can find a home in Asia as part of their diversification objectives, especially in economies such as Asian economies that have already adopted both green & Islamic finance strong drivers for the future”, stated Mr. Soundardjee.
The second day of the conference witnessed a keynote address by Yaseen Anwar, Senior Adviser at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Singapore & Former Governor, Central Bank of Pakistan where he threw light upon the world’s most ambitious infrastructure project by addressing the major areas for investment under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “Infrastructure represents the engine of growth, and there is a huge gap in infrastructure funding requirements. The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) provides a large portion of that funding that may be available to support these projects. Further, the development of corporate debt markets for emerging economies provides capital for its infrastructure development needs, diversifying its source of capital as well as risk. Events such as the 7th WIBC Capital Markets Summit Asia is very useful because it brings together different minds, new products, different geographies, varied expertise in the capital markets area etc, generating new opportunities for all these economies”, said Mr. Anwar.
A key highlight of the conference was the panel on the Global Asian versus GCC Pivot that saw an exchange of thoughts from industry pioneers from Dubai Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Moody’s Investors Service, CIMB Private Banking & Gibson Dunn on how low inflation, strong exports, FDIs and growing domestic demand is attracting GCC investments in Asia. Highlighting ADNOC’s strategy as part of this panel, Dr. Mark Halley Liebster, Vice President – Investment Planning Division, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), expressed, “Investing with partners in integrated value chain JVs, from oil field to end user markets, is enabling ADNOC to unlock and secure greater value from across our portfolio – whether in the GCC or in Asia. They also support our aspiration to expand and diversify our strategic partnerships base. ADNOC is quickly implementing this more creative approach to secure better access to markets for our products, while in turn providing our partners with long term and reliable supply of feedstock. This more flexible and open approach to partnerships, and the innovative financings underpinning them, is integral to our ongoing transformation and 2030 strategy”.
One of the key focus areas at the summit was Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) that saw a rendezvous of industry experts from GCC and Asia discuss how REITs are operating in a dynamic environment that is evolving rapidly as disruptive technology, changing demographics, developing legislation and governance, and globalization continue to accelerate the pace of change. Additionally, the panel of experts deliberated on how access to capital remains a critical business priority for all REITs, and the ability to raise funds in an accretive manner remains a driver of equity market activity. Speaking as part of the panel, Racha Alkhawaja, Group Chief Distribution & Development Officer, Emirates REIT – Equitativa Group stated, “WIBC brings together experts from Asia & the GCC to shed lights on innovative Islamic financial products and give insights on future market directions. Equitativa is honored to be the GCC representative of REITS in WIBC. Asia is a strategic region for our growth as we expand in setting up international reits and our participation here is of great mutual benefits.”
Asia continues to be an important region for the global financial system driven by its strong growth over the past decade with the Asian stock exchanges offering a wide range of products and services to domestic and international organizations, helping investors tap into the region’s strong debt and equity capital markets, fuelling economic growth. Organizations with high yield potential from real estate, infrastructure, technology, logistics, consumer, healthcare, energy and marine & offshore services among other high performing sectors in the ASEAN market were present at the summit that witnessed private meetings between investors, issuers and capital markets.
The two-day forum was moderated by Pius Chong, Managing Director, Financial Advisory Services, Deloitte. “It was two full days of thought-provoking discussions with eminent speakers who expressed their views and shared insights on bridging gaps to connect capital with investment opportunities as well as promote the convergence, harmonisation and reforms of regulations and standards. Other highlights include the use of AI, digitalisation and other technologies driving innovation, responsible and sustainable investing, and developing strategies to accelerate the growth of our capital market infrastructure and ecosystems”, said Mr. Chong.
The comprehensive capital markets-focused programme at WIBC Asia 2019 saw panel discussions focusing on GCC bonds from an Asian investor’s viewpoint, Bridging the GAP, Trends in ETFs usage, the role of research and its impact on the Asian equities market in a post MiFID II world; Fintech and its implications for Islamic capital markets and exclusive presentations on a wide range of topics including the outlook on fixed income trading by 2025, “Gold and all that Glitters” & Green/Sustainable bonds and its significance to Islamic finance.
Over 30 key industry powerhouses headlined the two-day summit and imparted valuable insights on a host of central themes affecting the industry at large. Speakers included: Dr. Adnan Chilwan, Group Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Islamic Bank; Christian de Guzman, Vice President – Senior Credit Officer, Sovereign Risk Group, Moody’s Investors Service; Nupur Joshi, Chief Executive Officer, REITAS – REIT Association of Singapore; Alex Chan, Vice President, iShares Global Markets,Blackrock Inc.; Desmond Lee, Senior Director, Product Strategy & Development, Nikko Asset Management Asia Limited; Fara Mohammad, Legal Director, Clyde & Co; Matthew Song, Senior Vice President & Head of Client Coverage (Equities), Equities & Fixed Income, Singapore Exchange (SGX); Seng Wun Song, Director, CIMB Private Banking; Elena Arabadjieva, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Investor Relations, Cromwell European REIT Management & Roslan Ahmad, Chief Representative, DDGI Limited, among other distinguished speakers.
Delegates also participated in the WIBC Asia 2019 Exhibition where they exclusively networked and connected on a one-to-one basis with leading industry players. Partners at WIBC Asia 2019 included The Perth Mint, Labuan IBFC, World Gold Council, Moody’s Investors Service, DDCAP & Deloitte.
Across two power-packed days, WIBC Asia 2019 took stock of advancements in the region’s capital markets, and identified the lucrative investment opportunities in the ASEAN region whilst supporting trade opportunities between the GCC and Asian markets.