DOHA: HSBC held its 19th Middle East Economics Roadshow at the W Hotel here yesterday. The event saw David Bloom (pictured), 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.”
“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, he added, Abe in Japan, Modi in India, Rousseff in Brazil and of course in the UK with Brexit”, said David Bloom.
HSBC is the largest and most widely represented international banking organisation in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), with a presence in 9 countries across the region. In first half of 2016, HSBC in the Mena region made a profit before tax of $985m.