Dubai – MENA Herald: Doha Bank hosted a knowledge sharing Session on “Changing Dynamics and Market Opportunities” at Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai on 22nd March 2016. The Speakers at the event included H.E, Zaid Al Qufaidi, Managing Director, Marketing for ENOC Group, Mr. Mohan Valreni, Senior Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Al Sheirawi Group and Mr. Jawad Khan, Director –PWC, UAE.
Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank gave insight on Global economies. He said “This month the Fed lowered its plan to two more hikes this year, down from four, for a total increase of 50 basis points citing a slowdown in China and sluggish growth in other emerging markets and the euro zone. Bank of Japan (BOJ) maintained its commitment to raise the monetary base by 80 trillion yen annually and left the rate it charges commercial banks on certain reserves at 0.1 percent. ECB expanding its monetary easing to 80 billion euros a month from 60 billion euros, and corporate bonds will now be eligible. The ECB also reduced its deposit rate from -0.3 per cent to -0.4 per cent. The Global financial markets had witnessed significant fall in first 2 months on concerns of global growth, Chinese slowdown and fall in commodity prices. The precious metals had witnessed surge this year due to safe haven demand. Oil which had fallen significantly this year revived and is around $40 levels on hopes of action by oil producers in April meeting.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman spoke on UAE economy. He said “The drop in oil price is expected to impact the economic growth in UAE economy which is expected to grow at 2.6 percent in 2016, with a fiscal deficit of 7.5 percent of GDP. UAE’s non-hydro contribution is expected to reach 80 percent in 2021. According to S&P, UAE has about 15 months coverage of current account payments and about 175% coverage of the monetary base to defend its fixed exchange parity with the dollar. Dubai has approved for budget 2016 a spending of Dh46.1 billion out of which Dh16.6bn is set aside for infrastructure, transport as Dubai prepares to host Expo.UAE maintained its top ranking on the world trade map, coming 16th globally in commodity exports and 20th globally in commodity imports. In the area of service trade, the UAE ranked 19th globally as service importer, and 42nd globally in service exports. UAE took first position among Arab countries and was 22nd worldwide in the global investment index for 2015 due to the ability of its sectors to attract foreign investment. The UAE banking sector had witnessed a loan growth of more than 8 per cent YTD in 2015 with private sector being a major contributor to growth. UAE Capital markets lead in the region after revival in oil prices after meeting of Saudi and Russia and hopes from oil producers meeting in April 2016.UAE economy is resilient to low oil prices.”
H.E, Zaid Al Qufaidi, Managing Director, Marketing for ENOC Group gave economic highlights. He gave insight on the current oil market and the reasons for low oil prices. He also highlighted ENOC‘s strategy in the light of current market conditions.
Mr. Mohan Valreni gave insight on the changes in GCC economies such as low oil prices, demographic changes, consumption patterns and alternate sources of energy. The impact of such changes on GCC economies include increase in taxes, austerity measures, reduction of subsidies , Aging Population and privatization of health care education. He also highlighted that Singapore has achieved prosperity through education, knowledge and proactive immigration policy. UAE is in the forefront of change. Healthcare, Technology, Tourism and Logisitics are other sectors which provides opportunities. Al Shirawi group is venturing into education sector.”
Mr. Jawad Khan gave insight on economic outlook of GCC economies, the pressure from liquidity and regulatory pressures. He stated that business models are changing, Lack of easy money mean innovative solution and Government policy driven opportunities. He also highlighted the opportunities arising from this new “normal” which includes Government related entity (GRE) model and change in Oil and Gas and Health care.”