18th November 2019
The Shangri-La, Singapore



18th November 2019

Registration and coffee
Session ends: 09:00
Chairperson’s opening remarks
Session ends: 09:15
Assessing the macroeconomic outlook: From the perfect storm of 2018 for EM Capital Markets, what did 2019 hold in store for issuers and investors alike and more importantly the outlook for 2020?
  • Trade wars, Brexit (still ongoing) and interest rates – which of the three, impact investor sentiment and strategy for EM credit the most, if at all?
  • As we enter unprecedented territory and the second longest global expansion period in history – are investors preparing for a slowdown in the market in 2020, possibly followed by a recession?
  • Where are the opportunities in EM debt capital markets given current global macro conditions? How are these opportunities assessed?
  • Where is the inflation? How is it likely to impact the market if there is a spike?
Session ends: 10:15
Understanding the benefits of diversification: what do issuers need to do to attract Asian investment and assessing the nuances between different investors across Asia
  • When issuers are looking to diversify investor bases – what is their main objective?
  • International vs local: choosing which currency best serves your fundraising requirements and also attracts the right investors
  • Understanding the investor: evaluating the nuances and appetite for different credits between Asian investors
  • With both Asia and the GCC awash with liquidity how is this impacting the trend of issuing and does this impact the choice between bonds and loans?
  • Is the same liquidity for bonds and sukuk from Asia available to loans in the MENA region?
Session ends: 11:00
Coffee and networking
Session ends: 11:30
Flows from East to West: Understanding why MENA region credit is trending amongst Asian investors
  • As Asian investors get more comfortable with risk and implement more sophisticated strategies – why is the GCC their ‘go to’ investment?
  • 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 Asian investors need to go to understand the investment opportunities available in the MENA region, especially when considering Sovereigns vs Corporates vs FIs – looking at ratings as well as the fundamentals
  • From a tick box approach, the GCC looks like a safe bet for now but for how long? What factors play a role in this?
  • A natural hub for Sukuk issuance, with a secondary market – how can the flow of money be increased between issuers and investors of sukuk from the Middle East to Asia and vice versa?
Session ends: 12:15
Oxford style debate: This house believes that in order to increase sukuk issuance the secondary market needs to be developed first

An affirmative team will do battle on stage with an opposition team for 45 minutes to win the audience’s votes. The affirmative team will have 10 minutes to present an argument in favour to each of the three issues laid out by the moderator, followed by 10 minutes from the opposition. After three rounds of questions by the moderator, the debate will be opened to the floor for 15 minutes. After 45 minutes of intense debate, the audience will vote on whether this house believes that in order to increase sukuk issuance the secondary market needs to be developed first.

Key issues to be discussed:

  • 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?
  • What are Asian 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?
Session ends: 13:00
Lunchtime presentation: The growth of Asian high-yield debt issuance and its role in Global Emerging Markets
  • How have Global Emerging Markets evolved and what is driving that growth?
  • What role does Asian high yield play in Global Emerging Markets debt issuance?
  • What are the key risks and challenges in Asian high yield?
Session ends: 13:45
Coffee and networking
Session ends: 14:00
The rise of ESG investing in Asia – too little too slow or on track?
  • As ESG is becoming increasingly relevant and as Asian pension funds take the lead to integrate ESG principles in their investment process – where do private investors stand?
  • Understanding what the right assets and products are and how to invest
  • Playing the long game: How will ESG portfolios compare to non-green assets in 2020 vs 2025?
  • How comfortable are investors identifying and pricing risk for ESG product?
  • What is the difference between ESG themed and ESG integrated and are there cost implications?
  • Appetite but limited supply: what needs to be done to boost the issuance of ESG related bonds and what role do sovereigns play in this?
  • Tom Keenan, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore and Regional Head of Wholesale Asia ex Japan, Robeco

Session ends: 14:45
Asian investors roundtable – an insight into Asian investors’ strategies
  • Risk on: Where are Asian investors looking for yield? Are there sufficient gains in emerging markets? How does this change in a risk off environment?
  • Contenders within the emerging markets – Asia (including China), vs. MENAT vs. Frontier markets: how is the paper from these various geographies ranked?
  • Sovereigns vs Corporates vs FIs: weighing up returns, risks and rewards – is there a preference for Asian investors, are they looking for quality or high yield?
  • Strategy and execution: How are Asian investors managing liquidity and spreads across different currencies?
  • Does the recent index inclusion of Chinese bonds impact Asian investors’ strategies towards Chinese paper and what is the subsequent impact on portfolio allocation?
Session ends: 15:30
Chairman’s closing remarks end of conference
Session ends: 15:30
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