EFG Hermes, the leading financial services corporation serving frontier emerging markets, kicked off its 14th annual One on One Conference in Dubai yesterday.
The gathering takes place under the headline “Shifting Benchmarks” and comes just weeks into a year in which investors look to navigate intermittent volatility that has impacted global markets.
This year’s gathering saw executives from 173 companies spanning 26 countries meet with 518 investors from 255 institutions managing more than $8 trillion assets under management.
With expectations that 2018 will be a breakout year for Frontier Emerging Markets (FEMs), these have found themselves firmly on the global investment radar,” said Karim Awad, Group Chief Executive Officer of EFG Hermes.
Presenting companies this year are drawn from 14 industries including consumer-driven sectors, energy, banking, finance, healthcare, industrials, information technology, telecoms, utilities, real estate and more.
“Global fund managers and institutional investors see interesting opportunities in the potential inclusion of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the MSCI and FTSE emerging market benchmarks; an increase in government spending in Saudi Arabia that has led to a pickup in consumer spending; and a growing focus across our footprint on renewable energy as governments aim to free oil and gas up for export,” said Mohamed Ebeid, co-CEO of the investment bank at EFG Hermes.
EFG Hermes Research estimates that the Middle East and North Africa’s weight on the MSCI EM benchmark could increase to 5% with the inclusion of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, up from effectively 0% in 2013.
Passive inflows to Saudi Arabia could top $10 billion after an upgrade, accounting for roughly 20% of overall flows.
Attendees voted in the EFG Hermes Consensus, the world’s largest (and only live) poll of frontier and emerging market investors and executives.
Below are the vote results: