Friday, 30 April 2010

Thursday, 22 April 2010




30th March 2010

The Waldorf Hilton Hotel, London

Panel 1: The Global Growth Environment
This session was chaired by Christopher Garnett, Director, Euromoney Conferences and focused on the global growth environment. Speakers included Daniel Broby, Chief Investment Officer, Silk Invest; Richard Fairgrieve, Director, Global Emerging Markets, Blackfriars Asset Management; Slim Feriani, Chief Executive Officer, Advance Emerging Capital and Liam Halligan, Chief Economist, Prosperity Capital Management

Panel I proved to be an excellent platform to set the scene for the rest of the day. Panelists analysed the main risks that the global economy is currently going through and expressed their invaluable views on where they believed the global downturn currently stands.

According to Richard Fairgrieve, the world has not come out of the economic crisis yet. As investors, it is very important to see the world from its various horizons. It is important to split emerging markets from the rest of the world. Since emerging markets have the reserves, they will continue to grow at a faster pace. In previous years, emerging markets have grown by 4-5% while those of the West grew by only 2%.

According to Slim Feriani, major risks are still present in the developed and Western world. We live in a global village and there is currently lots of talk about decoupling. The reality is that if Western countries do not grow then the export engine of the emerging economies is going to be hit. The economic crisis has in some ways played a positive role for emerging markets as it has forced them to look inward and concentrate on their domestic and regional markets.

For Daniel Broby, the end of the game is what matters. During the crisis, the Mauritian tourism sector was hit by 10%. However, there had been a very pragmatic approach by the Government to tackle this crisis. For instance, hotels and services were upgraded to make the country more attractive. Slim Feriani pointed out that places like Istanbul and Turkey have had tangible progress as compared to what they were 10 years ago. Confidence and stability has helped the economies to grow.

The shift in the flow of capital and investment from the West to the East, the growing importance of emerging markets like India and China as well as the way major capital markets around the world are re-inventing themselves to take advantage of the new economic landscape were examined. Slim Feriani reiterated that as investment managers, they are cautious and conservative in their approach to invest. They have structures in Nigeria as well as in Mauritius. Mauritius is a stable country but not necessarily the most cost effective platform. There has been a major transformation in Africa. It is predicted that in 10 years from now, Nigeria will boom as long as politics and stability improves. However, the fact remains that while some African countries are progressing; some have gone backward, for example Zimbabwe.

For Daniel Broby, African economies such as Botswana and Mauritius have been successful as there has been a high correlation between democracy and success. It was further highlighted that for Global Business Centres to remain and enhance their competitiveness, factors like transparency, regulatory framework, consistency and extensive networks of bilateral agreements should be taken into consideration.

Reuters codes: Silk Invest

Silk - African Lions Fund A0RAC3X.DX LU0389403337.LUF
Silk - African Lions Fund A0RAC4X.DX LU0389403410.LUF
Silk - Arab Falcons Fund A0RAC6X.DX LU0389403683.LUF
Silk - Arab Falcons Fund A0RAC5X.DX LU0389403501.LUF
Silk - Arab Falcons Fund A0YETMX.DX LU0485224678.LUF
Silk - Arab Falcons Fund A0YETYX.DX LU0485223860.LUF
Silk - Road Income Fund A0X918X.DX LU0445778870.LUF

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

COMESA Investment Forum

The 3rd COMESA Investment Forum –at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, just closed on a positive note. There were over 800 delegates from 65 countries.

Earlier during the Forum, the former president of Botswana, one of the most successful African countries, said that Africa was bursting with business and investment opportunities and offered the best return on investment in the world.

Nassif Sawiris, Chairman and CEO of Orascom Development, called for a clearer legal environment if Africa is to attract more investment. He added that more transparency in contract enforcement was needed to reassure investors of the security of their ventures.