24 - 25 March 2020



24th March 2020

Registration opens followed by networking breakfast and coffee
Chairman’s opening remarks
Transforming from a National Oil Company into a fully diversified global oil company: What to monetise, how to finance, and where to invest
  • How is ADNOC transforming its business from that of a NOC into a global one?
  • Investment and diversification strategies: Where to invest and how to finance?
  • Joint ventures, co-investment and partnerships: Opportunities for infrastructure asset investment in a low growth, low yield environment
Global economic and markets outlook: Implications of elections, trade wars and monetary policy
  • A look ahead at Fed, ECB and BOJ monetary policy moves
  • o From hawks to doves How far will interest rates fall
  • o What is the impact capital flows, global growth, credit quality and debt issuance?
  • How will the US presidential campaign and election impact markets?
  • Trade wars and trade flows: Who will the big winners and losers be?
Navigating through the markets: Pricing and making sense of GCC credit spreads
  • Making sense of the market reviewing case studies: A look at when and how successful transactions priced charted against the economic and political backdrop of each
  • Correlation between oil price and GCC credit spreads
  • Focus on sovereign issuances as a reference point to promote (debut) corporate issuance
  • What impact did the Index inclusion have on GCC spreads through 2019? Is the honeymoon about to end, and how will spreads respond differently without the support of all that extra liquidity?
  • Economic fundamentals, market technicals and ratings: Are they singing off the same hymn sheet?
Fireside chat with an industry heavyweight
  • Regional consolidation: How is the banking sector transforming?
  • UAE property slowdown: Risks to the economy and the banking sector
  • Banking and the digital age: What is the future role of banks?
  • Future role of Islamic banking in a regional and global context
Networking break hosted by Mashreqbank
The Future of Oil Prices: Analysing the supply and demand dynamics of oil short, medium and long-term
  • An analysis of the short-term drivers of oil price:
  • o Global trade flows, global growth and the critical role of China in driving oil prices
  • o Shale and politics: What happens to oil prices if the US elect a Democrat president who closes the Shale industry?
  • Versus the longer-term outlook for oil supply and demand:
  • o Two billion more people by 2030 and a rising GDP/capita in China and India: How do population demographics impact the long-term demand for oil
  • o Fundamentals of lithium and cobalt: Is there sufficient supply of battery commodities to support the growing demand for energy?
Sovereign, corporate and FI capital markets strategy: Why, how and where are borrowers funding themselves?
  • Bonds vs. loans: How are borrowers approaching the markets? What are the key criteria of how they select funding options and the banks they work with?
  • Funding plans vs. opportunistic issuance: Are rates so attractive borrowers are happy to take-on carry risk?
  • What will/could swing the pendulum back from the bond/sukuk markets back to the loan markets?
  • From secured borrowing to unsecured borrowing: What are the costs and benefits for borrowers?
US High Yield or RegS market: How private sector BB and B rated companies should approach the international capital markets
  • US HY vs. European vs. Asian investor approach to BB and B debut corporate issuers out of the Middle East: What to expect and how to prepare
  • Regional bank vs. international perspective on how to bring a debut non-GRE BB/B credit to the market
  • Structure and format: Who are the big/anchor buyers? How do debut high-yield issuers secure their sponsorship?
  • Investor advice to debut issuers: How do they price and make sense of GCC credit spreads? What is the range of pricing a debut corporate issuers should expect when approaching offshore bond investors?
  • You have a book but pricing is higher than expected: When it makes sense to secure the funding, and when it’s better to pull the deal and re-think the strategy
Why sukuk issuance volumes depend on the development of the secondary market
  • What will get the sukuk market trading? How does trading lead to greater issuance?
  • Chicken or the egg: Stimulating the local sukuk market and promoting further issuance or developing and deepening the secondary market – which needs to come first to see sukuk become product of first choice for issuers?
  • GCC, Asia, Europe: What are investors criteria when it comes to investing in sukuk
  • Regulatory framework and standardisation: Will this necessarily mean that sukuk markets will be more aligned with conventional capital markets? In turn does this make it more or less appealing to sukuk investors?
  • The business case for sukuk for conventional issuers: Analysing performance in times of volatility
Networking lunch hosted by MUFG
How to (prepare for a) transition away from LIBOR
  • What is replacing LIBOR as a benchmark?
  • Transitioning: What do banks and borrowers need to be aware of when renewing loan contracts?
  • Reviewing recent deals launched using alternatives to LIBOR (eg. Fannie Mae): Was deal liquidity and pricing impacted?
Analysing the supply and demand factors that will drive syndicated loan markets in 2020
  • PPPs, project finance and privatisations: How much funding is required? Who is willing to put money on the table? And at what price? Who is funding new projects in Oman and Bahrain?
  • How will the market absorb the upcoming wall of refinancings?
  • Green loans: How do they work? What’s the benefit to borrowers and bankers? Who qualifies for Green loans?
  • Has the consolidation within the GCC banking sector put pressure on tapping new sources of liquidity? Which regional banks are looking for opportunities outside the GCC? What are their long-term strategies?
  • B-rated non-GRE companies: Are international banks changing their approach to SME lending in the Middle East?
Why and how to pivot East: Why GCC credit is popular with Asian investors
  • As Asian investors get more comfortable with risk and implement more sophisticated strategies – why is the GCC their ‘go to’ investment?
  • From investment grade to high yield: Has the sweet spot amongst Asia’s fixed income and sukuk investors changed in the past 12-48 months?
  • How have MENA issuers taken strides to diversify their investor base and ensure that Asian investors are buying their paper?
  • Understanding the market: What journey do GCC issuers need to take Asian investors on to secure their sponsorship?
  • How liquid are Asia’s loan markets for GCC credit?
Networking break hosted by Mashreqbank
How to define and implement an ESG policy: Where to start
  • Objectives of an ESG policy, and how investors are factoring ESG into investment decisions
  • o How has ESG evolved to reduce investor risk and create opportunities?
  • Step-by-step: How to define and create an ESG policy
  • What best practices are currently being employed. Are there examples?
  • Implementation, on-going work and updating: It doesn’t end with a policy and a Green bond
  • How does ESG integration in developed markets differ with that in the emerging markets?
  • Is ESG fixed income integration different from green bonds?
From green to transition: Has the sustainable development goal (SDG) linked bond fundamentally redefined the market’s approach to ESG-capital markets?
  • Coupon step-up linked to environmental targets vs. bond proceeds not being spent on green projects: What did Enel start? What did AXA propose? What is happening to the sustainable finance market?
  • SDG-linked bonds, transition bonds,
  • ESG integration strategy vs. running a Green bond fund vs. combing the two: How are investors approaching Green and ESG?
  • Message to the market: Are ESG links to pricing inevitable? Will access to the market be ESG-binary?
Chairman’s closing remarks and close of Day One
Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Middle East Awards Ceremony and Evening Reception at the Versace Hotel, Dubai

25th March 2020

Registration and networking
Chairman’s opening remarks and commencement of Day Two
Politics and markets: Considering idiosyncratic risks that could rock the markets in 2020
  • Elections, trade wars and Central Bank policies: What are the triggers economists and speculators are keeping a close eye on?
  • What are the idiosyncrasies that could have an impact on spreads?
  • Top 5 political risks analysts are most concerned about and how (and to what extent) could each impact markets?
Debt supply for the year(s) ahead: How much is up for refinancing? Which industries will need CAPEX?
  • Wall of refinancing: How much is maturing in 2020, 2021 and 2022? Will all of it be refinanced in the bond/sukuk market?
  • Which sectors and industries will be in need of new money for CAPEX? Why?
  • Gauging lender sentiment and appetite for GCC credit
Networking break hosted by Mashreqbank
What debt management practices are family businesses across the Middle East employing to ensure the success of their turnaround strategies
The GCC-Africa corridor: How to successfully access higher yields and new investment opportunities on the African continent
  • North, South, East, West: Where and what are the opportunities for GCC companies on the African continent?
  • Petrochems, retail, consumer: What sectors are attracting investment appetite? How can lenders and companies take advantage of opportunities in these markets?
  • Accessing government support: How are private players working with African states to access new markets and opportunities?
  • Capitalising on trade flows: How can banks and companies work with African DFIs to leverage of trade activity between Africa and the GCC?
  • Assessing GCC-Africa capital flows – how can African banks work with Middle Eastern and international lenders to facilitate market entry and increase inter-regional lending activity?
  • Mitigating risk in a context of political instability: What credit insurance products are available for banks and companies looking to invest in Africa?
How are CIOs approaching investment in a low growth, low yield environment?
  • Equities, fixed income, infrastructure and real assets: Where do investors see opportunities?
  • What are institutional investors’ objectives from their portfolios? How are they adjusting allocations given the low yield and low growth environment?
  • Where do investors see opportunities in and out of the Middle East? Is the Middle East considered a safe-haven in a global context?
Chairman’s closing remarks and close of Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Middle East 2020

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