Dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was an unprecedented year for the global economy and market sentiment. Across every sector and geography, we witnessed widespread disruptions and changes in market dynamics, supply chains, business practices, digitisation, social norms, health and security standards, and more.
From initial 2020 assumptions of modest expansion, the global economy plunged into recession as governments implemented draconian restrictive measures to try to cauterise the global spread of the virus. As economies contracted sharply into the deepest recession since the Great Depression, equity markets fell precipitously, and government bonds rallied hard. Meanwhile, the crude oil market experienced a double whammy of the pandemic and a brief price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, with WTI even falling into negative territory at one stage.
It was the development of a viable Covid-19 vaccine late last year and the rollout of vaccination programs since December that has arguably been the game-changer for market sentiment in early 2021. Government stimulus is also helping to boost the recovery, the vaccine is not a silver bullet on its own. Indeed, geographically, ethically and psychologically many questions still hang over the vaccination process and, by extension, the global macro-outlook.
The MENA region has not been immune to all this and felt the brunt of a collapse in energy demand, tourism, etc. The GCC states early introduction of lockdown measures combined with their rapid and coordinated vaccine rollout suggests an economic recovery here may be somewhat faster than elsewhere. Of course, aside from economics, geopolitics is another important factor that will need to be watched as we emerge from the greatest health crisis in over 100 years.
Join us as we hear from the industry experts on what comes after the shocking 2020.
Miltiadis (Milton) Dalamagkas
Milton joined FactSet as VP Institutional Sales in March 2017, based out of Dubai, managing existing and prospect SWF’s clients in the GCC. The role evolved in VP Sale Director working with Sovereign Wealth Fund clients in EMEA focusing on strengthening client relationships while understanding their challenges and strategic direction.
Prior to FactSet,Miltiadis served as Business Development Manager for Calypso Technologies based out of Singapore covering South East Asia, and Thomson Reuters serving several client-facing roles in multiple locations.
Miltiadis holds a Bachelor’s in Econometrics and a Master’s in Applied Statistics.
Chief Economist – FAB
Simon joined First Abu Dhabi Bank in January 2018 and brings with him over 25yrs of market experience. Over his career as an economist, Simon has built up a wealth of multi-asset, global macroeconomic investment strategy knowledge, working previously in both London and New York. Prior to joining FAB, Simon had worked for BNP Paribas, RBC and National Australia Bank in London, and for Bear Stearns in London and New York.
Bi-lingual in French, his primary focus as Chief Economist at First Abu Dhabi Bank is on global (G10 / MENA / GCC) macroeconomic policy issues, covering rates, FX, credit and commodities and in particular how these are relevant to investment strategies for investors within the MENA/GCC region.
Simon’s views are regularly requested by the major financial news channels and the written press. Simon is a regular guest host on Bloomberg television and radio as well as CNBC television. In addition, he has often been quoted in the Financial Times and other leading financial publications.
Executive Director & Senior Strategist, Middle East & Africa
Glenn is a senior banking professional with over 30 years of Emerging Market FX trading, sales and research experience. He has worked in several of the world’s key trading centres including; London, New York, Johannesburg and Bahrain for the Credit Agricole Group before joining the National Bank of Abu Dhabi in 2013. He holds diplomas in International Financial Management and Computer Programming as well as a certificate in Geopolitical Studies from the GIGS Institute in Switzerland. His primary focus areas within FAB’s Market Insights & Strategy team are; oil, the geopolitical environment and local currency market dynamics across the regions of the Middle East and Africa.