Posted on April 21, 2015

The Dubai Global Convention 2015 25th World Congress on LEADERSHIP FOR BUSINESS EXCELLENCE & INNOVATION & Presentation of Golden Peacock Awards was hosted by Institute of Directors, India at Hotel The Meydan, Dubai between 20 -22 April 2015. The theme of the event was “Leading 21st Century Organisation through Innovation, Creativity & Excellence” His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan ,Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Govt. of UAE honoured  Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank at the event.

Dr. R. Seetharaman spoke on Changing Global Economics & Financial Impact on Markets – Middle East Perspective. He gave insight on Global economic outlook “The recent IMF Outlook had forecasted a growth of 3.5 percent in 2015 and 3.8 percent in 2016 respectively. Global growth in 2015 will be driven by a rebound in advanced economies, expected to increase from 1.8 percent last year to 2.4 percent this year. After weak second and third quarters in 2014, growth in the euro area is showing signs of picking up. And after a disappointing 2014, a weaker yen and lower oil prices are expected to lead to a pickup of growth in Japan. Growth for emerging and developing economies is projected to slow from 4.6 percent in 2014 to 4.3 percent in 2015. The Chinese authorities’ emphasis on reducing vulnerabilities from recent rapid credit and investment growth. Brazil’s outlook is also affected by a drought, tighter macroeconomic policies, and weak private sector sentiment.”

Dr. Seetharaman highlighted on GCC economies. He said “The recent IMF outlook has revised the growth for GCC economies on account fall in oil prices. Saudi economy is expected to grow at 3 percent in 2015, UAE economy is expected to grow at 3.2 percent in 2015, Kuwait economy is expected to grow at 1.7 percent in 2015, Oman economy is expected to grow at 4.6 percent in 2015, Bahrain economy is expected to grow at 2.7 percent in 2015 and Qatar economy is expected to grow at 7.1 percent in 2015.The GDP at current prices of GCC economies is expected to be above $1.43 tn in 2015.”

Dr. Seetharaman gave insights on Global capital markets. He said “U.S. stocks sold off last Friday as a confluence of intensifying Greek default fears and new stock-market regulation from China put investors on edge. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered their worst one-day point decline in more than three weeks and ended the week with losses after two consecutive weekly gains.  Chinese exchanges and regulators announced Friday that they would crack down on over-the-counter margin trading. Europe markets fell by end of last week on concerns of Greek concerns. Japan's Nikkei share average dropped to its lowest in more than a week last Friday after weaker-than-expected U.S. housing data soured the mood. Indian Nifty also fell last Friday. On YTD Basis, Dow jones was flat, Nasdaq – 4.1%, S&P – 1.1%, Brazil – 7.9%, Germany -19.2%, UK – 6.5%, France – 20.4%, India Nifty – 3.9%,Shanghai – 32.5% and Nikkei – 12.6% respectively.”

Dr. Seetharaman highlighted on GCC capital markets. He said “Saudi Arabia recently announced it is going to open its stock market to direct foreign investment during mid June, allowing qualified foreign institutions to buy shares. Saudi Market was up by more than 3% on Sunday on account of this In this year GCC capital markets have been volatile on account of low levels in oil prices. WTI was $55.74/ Barrel and Brent Crude was at $63.45/ Barrel by end of last week. The low oil prices will have a bearing on the liquidity, economic growth and the 1st quarter performance in GCC. Till 19th April 2015 the YTD performance of GCC markets was Qatar – (-) 3.2%, Dubai – 6.6%, Abu Dhabi – 2.1%, Saudi Arabia – 15.1%, Oman – (-) 0.8%, Kuwait – (-)3% and Bahrain – (-) 2.4% respectively.

The Global growth is uneven, liquidity issues has been fixed however challenges to solvency and sustainability still remain. At the GCC level the falling oil price has contributed to liquidity challenge and volatile capital markets. On account of falling oil prices we are bracing for a volatile situation this year.