NBO hosts virtual event with Goldman Sachs to discuss plans for GCC post-COVID economies
July 6, 2020 | 4:16 PM
by Times News Service
Photo: Supplied

Muscat: Driving progress in the banking industry, National Bank of Oman (NBO)recently hosted a conference call with guest speakers from Goldman Sachs to discuss the present and future impacts of COVID-19 on the GCC economies.

Titled ‘GCC Bond Markets: 2020 and Beyond’, the hour-long WebEx based virtual event was led by Goldman Sachs’ leading figures; Farouk Soussa, Senior Economist, CEEMEA Economics Group, Sara Grut, Senior Strategist, Global Markets Research Group and Waleed Mohsin, CoHead CEEMEA Research and Dubai Research Team.

It was the latest in a series of events NBO has hosted virtually, as it continues to support learning in the banking sector, while promoting economic development and knowledge sharing, bringing global expertise to the local institutions and individuals, even though the challenges of the outbreak.

Yaseen Hassan Al Lawati, Head of Investment Banking Division, said, “NBO is proud to be at the forefront of such events that are shaping the future of the banking industry, not only in Oman but throughout the region. Bringing in three global industry experts, we were able to gain valuable insight on how the region’s public and private sectors are being affected by the recent lockdowns and drops in oil prices, the expectations and the opportunities that may come out of it. It’s important for us all to have a clear goal moving forward so that we can prepare ourselves against adversity and demonstrate resilience in the face of global challenges and market fluctuations. With agility and prudent planning, we will continue to thrive.”

The conference touched on a range of timely topics including the current scenario, future expectations and opportunities for investors looking to invest in regional bond markets; the fiscal impact of the recent lockdowns and oil market fall on GCC economies; the current sovereign spreads and yield curves and expectations for the near term; the impact of fiscal and monetary measures undertaken by governments in the region during 2020; future issuance expectations from sovereign and corporate issuers; and relative attractiveness to other frontier and emerging markets.

Soussa is a senior economist in the CEEMEA economics group based in London, responsible for the MENA region. He has almost two decades’ experience in finance, both in the Middle East and Europe. He holds an MSc in Finance and a PhD in Economics from the University of Birmingham, UK. Grut is a senior strategist in the Global Markets Research Group at Goldman Sachs in London, with a focus on EM Sovereign Credit. She joined the firm in 2015 as a member of the CEEMEA Economics team before transitioning to EM Strategy in 2017. She has an MSc and a BSc in Finance and Economics from Copenhagen University, Denmark.

Mohsin co-heads the CEEMEA research and also the Dubai research team for Goldman Sachs. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2008 and was named Managing Director in 2017. He has an MBA in Finance from the Institute of Business Administration.

NBO hosts and partners with several conferences and events that add value to the development and diversification of the economy. The bank is also at the forefront of a nationwide call to action for the fight against the ongoing outbreak.

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