•25 February - 5th Annual Greek Shipping Forum - ATHENS. GREECE •20 March - 8th Annual Invest in International Shipping Forum, - NEW YORK •2 June - 4th Posidonia Analyst & Investor Day, - ATHENS, GREECE
The 7th Annual Invest in International Shipping Forum took place in New York City with a diverse body of shipping professionals from around the globe in attendance. An investor-focused event held every year in New York, influential C-level executives -- belonging to U.S. and foreign listed shipping companies -- came together to discuss and examine the macroeconomic issues that are shaping and transforming international shipping today. The forum provided a comprehensive review and outlook on the various shipping markets, made more relevant by the annual release of companies' performance results. Attending investors, who wish to evaluate how companies continue to finance their vessels and projects, were able to assess both the current and future financial status of the international shipping markets.
FORUM STRUCTURE & PRESENTERS
With panel discussions that included senior executives from 22 shipping companies and 36 executives from charterers and industry experts, commercial and investment banks, analysts, private equity firms, law firms, consulting firms, maritime organizations and classification societies, the Forum not only covered the latest developments and trends in international trade, offshore drilling, dry bulk commodities and the energy markets -- framed against the broader backdrop of the global economy -- but also reviewed the various funding alternatives for raising capital among listed and private shipping companies. It also addressed other critical topics that the industry faces such as restructuring issues and discussed investment opportunities in various sectors including ship recycling.
Nick Kounis, Head of Macro Research, ABN AMRO Group Economics, opened the program sharing his views on the world economy and world trade. Despite recent developments in Cyprus, systemic risks related to the euro crisis have come down over recent months, helping to ease financial conditions and uncertainty. Cyprus still looks like a special case, while the ECB's OMT program remains a credible sovereign safety net. In the US too, risks to the global economy related to the logjam in the US political system have been reduced given the resolution of the fiscal cliff and extension of the deadline for the debt ceiling. Private sector de-leveraging is advanced and the private sector is regaining some traction. Advanced economy central banks -- led by the Fed -- have put in place aggressive monetary stimulus, with the balance sheets of the big four heading for the 10 trillion dollar mark by the end of this year. Emerging market central banks have also eased monetary policy, and this is starting to underpin demand. Indeed, China's economy has experienced as soft landing and growth is starting to firm. This list of positives suggests that the seeds have been sown for a recovery. However, there are a number of negatives that suggest that the global recovery will be slow this year. In particular, aggressive fiscal consolidation across the developed world will weigh on demand. Fortunately, this year will most likely mark the peak, and the pace of budget cuts will slow next year. As such, cyclical tailwinds should start to overcome fiscal headwinds in 2014, so that the pace of global growth should accelerate. China's great transformation, from investment-led to consumer led growth will also means that the days of double digit GDP growth in China are over. As such, the boost from Chinese demand will be somewhat less compared to before the crisis. Overall, we expect global GDP and world trade growth to improve in 2013, while still remaining below historical averages. A more convincing recovery will take place in 2014.
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