Capital Markets | Middle East Equity
The Middle East is experiencing a boom in initial public offerings, following years of relative inactivity since the global financial crisis. The area’s IPO markets began to recover in the fourth quarter of last year, and new share issues are now coming at a fever pitch, despite falling oil prices that could threaten regional economies.
CAPITAL MARKETS | FOREIGN EXCHANGE
It is a changing world for FX traders. Regulatory uncertainty and low volatility are putting a damper on the foreign exchange market, with spreads narrowing by 20% already this year—to record lows.
In its 2013 report to Congress, the Export-Import Bank of the United States says that its “overriding mission is to create and sustain American jobs by supporting US exports.” But that very mission is under threat, with House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling, among others, seeking to abolish the bank.
CAPITAL MARKETS | MIDDLE EAST EQUITY
Riyadh, the Saudi capital, has already built a new financial district, named after King Abdullah, but its 42 new skyscrapers stand largely empty. That could change following the decision by the government in July to allow foreign financial institutions to invest directly in listed shares, starting in the first half of 2015.
Norway’s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund has always been at the forefront of ethical investing, and its actions have influenced the decision making of other asset managers, big and small. But starting next year the fund will reveal its voting intentions before shareholder meetings, not only to be more transparent but also to influence the debate and the subsequent voting.
Subcustodians are being pressured by declining margins and low interest rates at the same time they are trying to cope with an onslaught of new regulatory requirements. For those with the skill and the wherewithal to meet the challenges, however, the business of protecting and servicing client assets remains profitable. Global investing is expected to continue to increase in the future.