Bahrain’s ‘resilient spirit’ serving it well: HSBC CEO | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain’s ‘resilient spirit’ serving it well: HSBC CEO

TDT | Manama

The Daily Tribune –

A top HSBC Bahrain official has hailed Bahrain for its resilient spirit, which he said is “serving it well in these uncertain times.”

Chris Russell, CEO, HSBC Bahrain, said he is inspired by the “ideas, entrepreneurialism and partnerships that are helping foster recovery and growth in Bahrain.”

Russel was speaking during HSBC’s Global Economic Outlook virtual roadshow that came to Bahrain yesterday, with 64 of HSBC’s clients attending the online event.

5.6pc in 2020

HSBC economists forecast that Gulf Cooperation Council economies will shrink on average by 5.6 per cent year-on-year in 2020. The forecast is then for growth of 3.9pc year-on-year in 2021, which would be a level of growth not seen since 2015 and points to the strong underlying potential of the Middle East.

The event was held at a critical time for the global economy, with countries around the world heading into the end of the year with increasing Covid-19 cases and global consumer confidence, which had shown signs of strengthening, starting to wane. In the GCC, oil exporters have faced the additional challenge of low oil prices.

Simon Williams, Chief Economist for Central & Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), Dominic Bunning, HSBC Senior FX Strategist and James Pomeroy, HSBC Global Economist Director, gave their views on the impact of Covid-19 on the global economy and explored various factors influencing macroeconomic trends, fiscal policy, as well as oil and foreign exchange markets. They also addressed the challenges and opportunities awaiting Bahrain and the wider region in 2021.

Simon Williams, HSBC’s Chief Economist for Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), said: “Across the GCC, we are seeing signs of states taking assertive policy action to manage the impact of the energy price slump and put public finances on a more sustainable footing. In the long-term, high deficits, muted economic growth and rapid increases in the working-age population mean that the well-recognised need for economic diversification is even more acute.”

The HSBC Global Economist Outlook roadshow is an annual event, which sees HSBC economists presenting in markets around the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT), giving an update on their outlook on the global and regional economies.