Monday, 2 May 2016

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE - Sean Edwards, ITFA Chairman / Head of Legal at SMBC

Dear Members and Friends,

I trust that 2016 has been treating you well so far. I can hardly believe that a third of the year has already flown by and that our ITFA Annual Conference, our 43rd, is only a few months away. This year we will be greeting you at the Sheraton Warsaw Hotel in Poland. You can access the conference website, with all the necessary information, as well as register by clicking here. A topical and interesting program with involvement from leading practitioners has been prepared and we will be renewing our traditional reputation for first-class entertainment. Please bear in mind that an earlybird discount is available for all registrations until 6th June. The ITFA Conference is a wonderful networking opportunity, so don’t miss out!

Planning for the conference has not kept us away from other events, including our Spring Cocktail in sunny Amsterdam which was attended by a record number of attendees. Thank you to Credit Europe Bank and Garanti for their sponsorship. Numbers are also growing for our Receivables Finance Masterclass in Paris, our first-ever event in the city.  
Moving on to the macro part of things, since the start of the year, Emerging Markets have been pretty much in the limelight, for good and bad reasons. Markets had crucified emerging market assets following the first interest rate hike in the US in almost 10 years, leading to a marked sell off in EM assets, whilst the recovery witnessed in markets to date have made EM the best performing region to date so far, registering close to double digit returns. Improving global market conditions have switched focus on a number of opportunities such as Brazil and South Africa. Argentina too seems to be emerging out of the doldrums, with the central government managing to regain investor support during the month of April.

Despite witnessing a marked slowdown in Chinese growth, selective Asian economies such as Indonesia continue to post robust economic data releases. Risks still remain present, with the political ridden scandal in Brazil being a typical example, whilst the escalating geopolitical tension in Turkey could also derail the path to recovery within the asset class. The recovery in commodity prices has aided sentiment in EM of late but any sharp correction could result in a change in fortunes.

In this month’s Newsletter, we find an interesting article on insurance titled - Focus on Insurance: top tips for managing a successful claim by Katie Fowler. As promised, ITFA has also introduced the Question & Answer Facility. In this Newsletter ITFA has issued the first Insurance Committee Opinion.

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,

Best wishes,
Sean Edwards

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