Tuesday, 14 July 2015

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE - Paolo Provera, Chairman ITFA

Dear Members and Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you all that the time has come for me to close one of the longest chapters of my life. 30th June marked my last working day at ABCIB Milan. As I step out into my new life and start focusing on different projects, I wish to let you know that the friendships established in the international banking community will definitely remain with me forever and which I will continue to cherish. I will never forget the wonderful people I have had the opportunity to work with and I am proud of what I have been able to achieve with them over the past years, with their faithful support and cooperation.

Despite this I will continue to remain loyal to ITFA and look forward to seeing you all in Dubai in September. With half the year already behind us, it is safe to say that the challenges we faced together as an industry provided us with opportunities to better withstand market and growth volatility.

Investor sentiment in June in emerging markets followed the downward trend witnessed in May, and despite this sharp correction, mainly reflecting rising expectations that the US Fed will soon start to raise interest rates, and the growing risk of Greece exiting the euro-zone, the moves were not dramatic. China was an outlier during the month however, with the Shanghai Composite index trailing other equity indices by quite a margin, as fears that Asia’s largest economy is on course for a hard landing precipitated. This resulted in the Chinese central bank lowering interest rates for the fourth time since November 2014 to record lows of 4.85%. Nevertheless, analysts expect emerging market economies to withstand the Fed's first rate hike, albeit there is a high chance that a near-term "Grexit" would trigger volatility in the region.

June was characterised by the Greek government and its creditor’s failure to reach an agreement on extending the country's bailout. The standoff culminated on the last trading day of the month as the Greek government called a referendum on whether to accept the terms of its creditors. Till well into the second week of July, no deal had been struck on this never ending impasse, with the Greek PM seemingly backtracking on his pre-referendum pleas on one end and other Eurozone leaders claiming that there is a certain lack of trust in the Greek’s new proposals on the other end, which the EU insist are passed by law by July 15. As German chancellor put it on the weekend of July 12; “The situation is extremely difficult if you consider the economic situation in Greece and the worsening in the last few months, but what has been lost also in terms of trust and reliability.”

Despite the ‘No’ outcome of the July 5 election and the deadlock still unbroken, we would expect the uncertainty around the country’s finances to continue to weigh on market sentiment well into the summer, and expect volatility and investor sentiment to be put to the test across the global economy, a topic which will be inevitably touched upon in our well awaited ITFA Annual Conference.

May I remind you all that the ITFA team is working endlessly to make this event a great success for all and that we will be accepting attendee’s registrations till 31 July 2015. Therefore, we urge you all to register on-line as soon as possible by clicking on the following link. As always, we thank you all for your continuous support.

We look forward to hearing from you with any feedback you may want to share with us by sending an email to myself, any of the Board Members or to our general email, info@itfa.org.  

Best wishes
Paolo Provera

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