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World’s leading financial gurus meet in Dubai to discuss SWFs

United Arab Emirates: Sunday, June 29 - 2008 @ 15:37

These were the sentiments of Hani Kablawi, Managing Director MENA, Bank of New York Mellon at the opening of IQPC’s GCC Institutional Investments Summit which kicked off in Dubai this morning.

Dr. Nasser Al Saidi, Chief Economist, Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA) opened proceedings at the conference, which will span two days, aimed at analyzing and evaluating the growth in SWFs and their effect on the global financial markets.

Renowned speakers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will give delegates insight into IMF regulations and their impact on large institutional investors.

He said, “There has never been a more interesting time to focus a spotlight on the international investment market. The financial crisis that has affected the developed countries worldwide has led to an unexpected rise in the prominence of the emerging economies, where resilience, based on strong economic fundamentals, liquidity and build-up of financial assets are proving a major attraction for the big institutional investors and wealth managers.

“This summit will provide an interesting platform for thought-provoking dialogue as the power bases in the world’s financial landscape continues to shift, accompanying the structural change in the world’s economic geography towards the GCC countries and emerging market economies,” Dr. Al Saidi added.

Kablawi continued that Asia’s export engine seems set to continue, and oil market dynamics suggest an oil price well above the Middle East’s ‘budgetary balance’ oil price of $40-something for the long haul.

“Really, SWF came to the rescue, and if anything that has helped improve their image and reputation. We may not have seen the end of the losses in the US and European financial sector but SWFs continue to look for bargains.

“Citi and Merrill have been key beneficiaries, taking in $19.9bn and $11bn in the last few months alone. In that respect, the SWF have done the American and European taxpayer’s a big favour and we should continue to remind them these markets are open for investment, to ensure their capital does not head elsewhere.”

Also in attendance, Martin Skancke, Director General Asset Management, Ministry of Finance, Norway said, “I’m looking forward to discussing the role of SWFs in financial markets and to presenting the Norwegian Government Pension Fund to regional business leaders.

“SWFs have a strong risk-bearing capacity and an ability to accommodate short-term volatility. They may therefore act as a stabilizing factor in financial markets by dampening asset price volatility and lowering liquidity risk premia.

“I am particularly pleased to have been asked to address the questions of transparency, governance and ethical guidelines. These are very timely questions, reflecting the current international debate both on sovereign investments and investors’ responsibilities.”

A post-conference workshop designed and certified by the American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM) will provide the participants full status as an Associate Member of the AAFM.

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Sunday, June 29- 2008 @ 15:37 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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