Tuesday, 5 December 2017

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

Dear Members and Friends,

As we come to the end of another year, let me first take the opportunity to thank all those members and guests who attended our Christmas Cocktail Party, which was held on 11th December at the remarkable Victorian Bath House. This venue was host to one of the most enjoyable seasonal parties we have yet organised. For the ITFA Board, this event was an opportunity for us to thank you, our members, for your continuous support and enthusiasm. All ITFA members may view the event photos by clicking here.

Everyone in our industry would know that Emerging markets have, over the years, offered very generous returns to investors, despite the fact that the sensitivity to both commodities and the movement in the dollar currency have always been seen as a threat. Few may be aware but in reality, selective EM countries are much better positioned than developed economies from a fundamental perspective.

The market’s appetite for risk evidently dropped in the initial weeks of November, but recovered swiftly thereafter. That said, there are several fundamental factors that could drive a change in the credit landscape in 2018: rising yields, volatility and the impact of US tax reforms.

Nevertheless, markets remain well positioned to close off the year on a strong footing. Moreover, a weaker US Dollar coupled with the current low inflation and buoyant growth outlook has been benign for risky assets. Global economic growth has been supportive and surprised to the upside, which in turn has buoyed commodity related sectors, in particular oil & gas and basic materials. Future earnings growth will therefore be very sensitive to China. Going forward, the recurrent theme will be China as there are slight signs that the economy is losing steam and slowing.

In this month’s newsletter we read an inspiring article titled ''There are No Superwomen; There are Only Women who have Support'' by Shannon Manders, GTR. Katharine Morton then provides us with the summary of the Insurance Roundtable held in Edinburgh in the month of September. ITFA continues to update you on the various events held in the last months; ITFA partners with IBS to deliver a Trade Finance Seminar in Lisbon, SEARC Trade Finance Symposium 2017 held in Singapore and the ITFA GRC Workshop held in Frankfurt.

May I remind you all that the ITFA conference website is now live. The beautiful coastal city of Cape Town awaits us! We urge you to visit www.2018conference.itfa.org to register at your earliest and take advantage of our Super Early Bird Price. The conference will be held between 4-6 September 2018, so please save the date!

In the meantime, I wish you all the very best for the festive season and a healthy and prosperous new year.

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,

Sean Edwards

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