Wednesday, 1 March 2017

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

Dear Members and Friends,

Believe it or not, we have already come to the end of the first quarter of 2017. Emerging markets have been unfazed so far this year by the worries, or rather, concerns of a potentially stronger dollar against major emerging market currencies. The expected three rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve appear to be already priced-in in current valuations, and so long as EM currencies continue to range trade within current levels, emerging markets are set to remain in demand.

The global search for yield continues, the outlook for commodities has improved markedly and let’s face it, emerging market economies are in a healthier state than a large number of developed economies, with encouraging prospects for GDP growth in 2017. Meanwhile, inflation in emerging markets has continued to creep upwards, mainly on the back of a rise in commodity and energy prices, so base effects largely contributed towards this uptick in price pressure. Although inflationary pressures could well persist on the back of the robustness in emerging market economies, EM central banks are more likely to oversee the recent spike in inflation rather than respond with any form of policy tightening.

In the March edition of the ITFA Newsletter you will find an interesting article titled ''Updates from the S&W Trade Finance Breakfast Seminars'' by Geoffrey Wynne, Sullivan and Worcester. In a contribution by Lloyds Bank, you can read about the effects of Brexit - ''EU Referendum and British Trade''. The ITFA team also provides a brief on the ITFA workshop conducted at the GTR MENA Trade Finance Week. Our regular feature - Chart of the Month, contributed by Dr. Rebecca Harding of Equant Analytics provides an interesting read titled ''March 2017 - Trade Outlook''.

As we have previously announced,  we are deliriously happy to be putting on the 44th Annual International Trade and Forfaiting Conference which will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland between the 6th and 8th of September 2017. This year we will be greeting you at the Caledonian Hotel, an iconic five-star venue in the heart of historic Edinburgh. A networking afternoon with dedicated rooms and a reservation portal to book meetings with all conference delegates will take place on the second day of the conference. At this point we just ask you to Save the Date and to keep following our regular updates.

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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