Covering EBRD annual meetings for Global Markets

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Phil contributed analysis pieces to the coverage of the annual meetings of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in May by Global Markets magazine. The meetings were held in May 2022 as the military attacks by Russia on Ukraine were well into their third month.

One piece looked at the likely negative impact that the conflict would have not only on Russia and Ukraine but on the EBRD’s central and eastern European (CEE) region. A partner piece examines the impact on inflation and interest rates in the region.

A key element of that is the likely disruption to regional and global oil markets which this piece looked at. While oil price rises will cause problems for many CEE countries, Russia and Ukraine’s place in global food markets will cause major problems and misery for countries on the North African fringe of operations. This piece looks at that.

The EBRD is one of many international financial institutions to have offered to increase funding for projects in Ukraine: this piece looked at who has given what, and how much the likely final bill will be.

Finally, there may be some glimmer of hope from the unity that the conflict seems to have inspired within the European Union and NATO. This piece looks at how this might bring together the EBRD’s shareholders and recipient countries 31 years after its foundation in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Digitalisation and emerging markets for OMFIF magazine

Phil was invited to research an article for a magazine published by the Digital Monetary Institute at the thinktank OMFIF that is looking at the future of capital markets in 2022. It focused on how digital finance offers hope of internationalising emerging markets.

It looked at how international financial institutions are examining the potential of the ongoing revolution in digital money to enable emerging markets and developing countries to participate more in both local currency and international capital markets.

Phil spoke with experts at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Bank of International Settlements.

The article looks at the ways in which digital finance has changed the ways that policymakers in emerging and developing are adapting to allow the creation of digital money channels in their economies and the benefits they bring in terms of financial access and inclusion. It also looks at how international financial institutions can work with EMDCs to make the step up from personal finance towards using digitalisation to improve the way they issue debt on the capital markets. It looks at both opportunities and threats in a wide-ranging discussion.

The long-form article can be found here.

EBRD governance, Bahrain fintech and Ghana for EMEA Finance magazine

Phil had three articles published in the latest edition of EMEA Finance magazine in May 2019. They looked at three diverse issues – the rules governing investments by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the success of fintech in Bahrain and the strategy of Ghana’s finance minister

The article on the reform of the governance rules that apply to loans made by the EBRD was based on a conversation with Alistair Clark, Managing Director for Environment and Sustainability. It looked at the bank’s ambition for the reform and how the various consultations with stakeholders had gone. It also highlighted concerns raised by NGOs who believe that the EBRD is failing to be as transparent as other IFIs. The article is here.

A longer feature looked at how Bahrain had moved swiftly to establish itself as one of the world’s centres for financial technology (fintech). It looked at how the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) launched the first in a series of initiatives that aimed to make the kingdom the Middle East’s centre for international innovation and finance. Phil spoke with a number of major players in the kingdom. The article is here.

A profile of Ghana’s minister of finance Ken Ofori-Atta looked at how the former Wall Street investment banker has taken firm action to steady the economy by resolving seven troubled banks and overseeing Ghana’s successful exit from a $185m four-year loan from the International Monetary Fund. The article is here.

Looking at Vienna, 1.0, 2.0 … and 3.0?

Phil spoke to a number of senior figures who were, or are close to the issues involved in seting up the Vienna Initiative. This was the collaboration betwen international institutions and banks to ensure that the 2009 global financial crisis did not spill over into central and eastern Europe. It tackled fears that EU-based banking groups would rush to reduce their debts by selling assets in emerging European countries.

He spoke with senior officials and bankers at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International, and the  Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies. One issue was whether the tensions created out of the Russia/Ukraine situation could unnerve and banks and require a Vienna 3.0. The consensus was not, bgutone should watch this space. The story is here