(MENAFN- TRACCS) Kuwait, 10 December 2023: Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz” concluded its annual seminar titled ‘‘Markaz 2024 Outlook: Investment Trends and Opportunities’, which was held on December 5th, at the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait, in the presence of a group of experts from Markaz, along with local and international prominent institutions. The seminar aimed at sharing insights on emerging investment opportunities regionally as well as globally, in line with Markaz’s efforts towards empowering investors to make informed, responsible decisions.
More than 250 attendees were present at the Markaz 2024 Outlook event to learn about the next frontiers of the investment landscape within Kuwait, the GCC region and across the world. During the event, Markaz’s experienced senior leadership shared poignant insights into a variety of asset classes including equities, real estate and fixed income, and investment banking services including IPOs and advisory and Mergers and Acquisitions. Through speeches and panel discussions, the seminar addressed important subjects aimed at ensuring investors remain aware and conscientious of their investment portfolio moving into 2024. The seminar’s agenda also focused on key topics such as the impact of rising interest rates on various markets and sectors.
The seminar was initiated with a welcoming note by Mr. Abdullatif Al Nusif, Managing Director – Wealth Management and Business Development, at Markaz. This was followed by an overview on regional and global markets and economies, presented by Khaled Al-Saleh, Senior Analyst, Investment Advisory at Markaz, on behalf of Marmore Intelligence, Markaz’s research arm. The overview focused on five key risk areas that must be considered, namely, High Interest Rates, Strong US Currency, Geopolitical Risks, High Oil Prices and the China Slowdown. Al-Saleh went on to highlight 10 key themes of focus beyond 2024, which are Climate Change, Demograhic Change, Energy Transition, Rising Global Debt, Deglobalization, Cyber Threats, Artificial intelligence, Obesity, Social Media Addiction and Metaverse Economy.
A panel discussion was then held, titled “Where are the opportunities in public equities, fixed income, real estate and investment banking sectors?”, which was moderated by Deena AlRefai, EVP, Wealth Management and Business Development, at Markaz. The panel featured Sami Shabshab, Managing Director, Mar-Gulf, the international real estate arm of Markaz, Rasha Othman, EVP – Investment Banking (Capital Markets and Fixed Income) at Markaz; Mohammad Al-Ghannam, SVP – MENA Equities at Markaz; Abdulrazzaq Razooqi, SVP – Advisory and M&A at Markaz; and last but not least, Muaz Al-Ateeqi, VP – MENA Real Estate at Markaz.
During the session, Sami Shabshab followed that with his views on the adverse effects (Headwinds) in the global real estate sector, the change in the categories of real estate sectors in global markets, his expectations for the best performing sectors in debt markets, and the opportunities available through finding alternative financing sources, and expanding into the European and American markets and the network of partners. Rasha Othman highlighted the most prominent challenges in the fixed income market and the market performance, the impact of the challenges on the GCC bonds market, and the volume of GCC IPOs in 2023, in addition to the regulatory environment for public offerings and listings, and the emerging listing opportunities for family offices. From his end, Mohammed Al-Ghannam provided a recap of the GCC markets performance, his outlook for the economic growth across the GCC, and the thorough selection strategy for stocks. Abdulrazzaq Razouqi discussed the volume of mergers and acquisitions transactions in the GCC in general and in Kuwait in specific, indicating the expectations for growth on that front, and the role of sovereign wealth funds in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, explaining the current shift in investors’ strategies, and the expectations across various sectors, especially the health sector. Razouqi showcased the available opportunities available for companies, to enter new sectors or expand existing sectors through mergers and acquisitions, creating stronger and larger entities. Next, Moath Al-Ateeqi revealed the potential growth rates in the medium term supported by economic factors, and the growth of the residential rental sector in the Class-A Buildings category. He underpinned the increasing opportunities in the Saudi market driven by the strong government support across all sectors. He highlighted that the Kuwaiti market presents important opportunities with the adoption of the Private Housing Law, and efforts to develop the real estate sector in terms of issuance of new laws, specifically with regard to electronic brokerage and the development of the residential sector.
The seminar also featured a presentation by Artur Mokrzycki, Head of Capital Markets – Europe, at Panattoni, titled “Real Estate – Logistics – the New Chapter”, in which he showcased the key drivers in supply chain and manufacturing in the European markets, where the demand is, and what are the available opportunities in these markets.
Following that, Giovanni Leonardo, Head of Investment Management at Schroders & Co Bank AG, provided a presentation titled “Global view on portfolio construction in a dynamic market”, where he discussed the expectations for global growth and inflation, and stressed on the fact that the global economy has gradually begun to witness more flexibility, but is yet to overcome some challenging steps.
The seminar was concluded with a special one-to-one interview with Mohammed Saud Al-Osaimi, CEO of Boursa Kuwait, themed “Sharing takes on learnings, success stories, and future vision”, which was conducted by Ali Khalil, CEO of Markaz. During the interview, Al-Osaimi shed light on his professional career, working in both private and public sectors, the phases that Boursa went through before and after privatization, how this experience can be implemented in other institutions, and his aspirations for the Kuwaiti capital markets. He concluded with providing advice to the youth encouraging them to follow their aspirations to achieve career success.
Al-Nusif concluded the event thanking the audience for their trust in Markaz and its experts, and for their keenness to attend Markaz’s annual seminars, which affirms the success of the “Markaz Outlook event: Investment Trends and Opportunities” since 2021. The event proved to have a wide follower base, where it has become a highly anticipated event by the Kuwaiti financial sector, investors, and those with interests in the Capital Markets. It is also anticipated by financial market experts and related sectors in Kuwait and the region, and is considered a platform for observing changes, tracking developments, and anticipating future prospects in various world markets.
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