Debate and discourse at ICMA


Mizuho International was proud to attend the ICMA Economic Summit and New Year’s event in Brussels on 31 January, and took part in an economic panel discussion ahead of the main event. Antoine Bouvet, one of our London-based rate strategists joined panellists from Citigroup, RBC, Lyxor AM and Intesa Sanpaolo, moderated by Peter Vanden Houte of ING to discuss expectations for 2019 in the global economy.

Close to 100 attendees at the panel event had the opportunity to agree or disagree with the panellists during live voting. It was notable that the panellists’ opinions were more divergent than during similar previous events, with individual views being influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the weighting given to hard economic data vs financial market sentiment. The slowdown of growth in both Europe and China was a particular talking point, driving different opinions and animated debate.

For attendees looking for investment advice, there was a plethora to choose from. Antoine highlighted opportunities in 30-year Spanish government bonds to position for a more supportive ECB, and for the continuation of Spain’s economic success story. Others focused on equities, emerging markets, long end investment grade bonds and treasuries.

With a diverse attendee list covering a range of ICMA members across the investor space, the event was a useful opportunity to engage with a wide range of financial professionals. The new year event, held after the panel, attracted an enthusiastic and varied crowd enjoying live entertainment. “It was particularly interesting meeting colleagues and clients who work across markets and not just in the Rates space, facilitated by an informal, informative and well-organised event.” comments Antoine.

Have we seen the last of the rate hikes?