EFG Hermes, the leading financial institution with a universal bank in Egypt and the leading investment bank franchise in Frontier and Emerging Markets (FEM), inaugurated the 17th EFG Hermes One-on-One Conference at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai today, attended by senior government officials, high-profile regional business leaders, investors, and listed companies.
Headlined “Outplaying Challenges,” the conference hosted thousands of one-on-one meetings between executives representing some of the region’s most compelling prospects and regional and global institutional investors, allowing them to gain insights into key trends impacting frontier and emerging markets today to explore value-accretive investment prospects. This year’s conference, which will run until March 9, will see 179 companies in numerous key sectors across 29 countries hold direct meetings with over 561 institutional investors and fund managers representing 247 international institutions.
This year, the conference’s main session kicked off with a note from EFG Hermes Holding’s Group CEO Karim Awad, followed by an interview with main speaker Ayman Soliman, Chief Executive Officer of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, run by Ramia Farrage, Senior Producer and Presenter of Forbes Middle East.
Karim Awad, Group Chief Executive Officer of EFG Hermes Holding, commented: “We are delighted to be hosting the 17th iteration of our flagship EFG Hermes One-on-One Conference today. The conference continues to act as a growth catalyst for capital market investment across FEM, opening direct communication channels between investors and the most promising listed companies. Leveraging decades of on-the-ground expertise in these markets, we provide investors with the tools, unique insights, and unfettered access they need to maximize returns — maintaining our position as a financial enabler of corporate success. This year, the UAE is also preparing to host COP28, making it an optimal time for companies to inform the conversation on how investors can play a role in the journey toward net-zero by weaving responsible investment practices and frameworks into their financial considerations to secure a better future that guarantees sustainable development for societies, economies, and the planet.”
The last year was a time rife with macroeconomic volatility due to persistently high inflation rates, a challenging interest environment driven by Fed-supersized rate hikes, and soaring commodity prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine war that dampened global capital market activity and investor sentiment. Meanwhile, the first quarter of 2023 saw a slight reversal, with a slowdown in commodity price jumps as alternative supplies came on stream and China’s reversal of economically stifling zero-COVID policies spurring investors to pour into emerging market securities at a near-record rate. The GCC in particular has demonstrated resilience against global turbulence, driven by a solid crude oil market and government initiatives that have collectively deepened the region’s capital markets.
Mohamed Ebeid, Co-CEO of the Investment Bank at EFG Hermes Holding, commented: “Since the start of the year, the MSCI EM equities index has been trading at 20% or more above last year’s low as emerging economies look set to grow faster than advanced ones this year, with EM GDPs expected to expand by 1.4 percentage points more than the rate in advanced economies. The GCC has, in recent months, proven to be a key investment hub for regional and global investors — a transformation we’ve been incredibly successful in capitalizing on by capturing a large share of ECM and M&A deals, particularly in the UAE. As we look ahead, we are confident we can continue ramping up our equity, debt, and M&A transaction pipeline and unlock unmatched prospects for clients and investors alike.”
During the conference, attendees also had the chance to vote in the Poll titled “The 2023 1×1 Survey”, the largest (and only live) research poll of FEM market investors and executives that provides key insights into trends and expectations for global markets in the near and medium term