The Future Investment Initiative discussed, in its first session entitled "The Neo-Renaissance: How Will Investment Shape A Rebirth of Global Economy ?", the impact of coronavirus crisis on the stock and financial markets.
The session, which was held today at King Abdulaziz International Conference Center here today, witnessed the virtual and personal attendance of PIF Governor of and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Future Investment Initiative Foundation Yasser Al-Rumayyan; Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Investment Director of Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio; BlackRock's Chairman and CEO, Laurence Fink; CEO of Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG, Dr. Thomas Gottstein and Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon.
The session was managed by Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group, David Rubenstein.
Al-Rumayyan added that “In 2020, when the coronavirus crisis began, there was a severe impact on economies around the world as well as on stock markets and all financial markets that were affected significantly in principle,” indicating that at the end of February and the beginning of March, most of the markets had a drop while the markets, especially the US and international markets, witnessed in the same period a significant increase, which caused inequality between those who have money and financing and the working group.
He explained that the majority of the working group lost their jobs due to their presence in traditional economies such as travel, tourism, retail and consumption in general, stressing that the majority of these sectors suffered greatly, and that those who had financing such as asset managers, family offices and other higher categories saw these as good opportunities.
He further said: “I think that the time has come for all of us to start not only thinking about our self-financing benefits, but to see the impact that will occur on the market,” highlighting that the Public Investment Fund announced its second phase of the 2030 Vision Realization Program, which is part of the strategy from 2021 until 2025.
He also explained that another phase will follow that leads to the realization of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, indicating that part of this strategy is not limited to investing in financial markets only, but also in new projects that have an impact on the growth of the gross domestic product, and creating investment opportunities and work.
The Governor of the Public Investment Fund stated that investing in technology that had a role in continuing to live and communicate, citing the current conference in which technology was able to connect among continents and different cities and peoples at the same time, stressing the continuation of investment in things that will affect the economy, in addition to investment in the financial markets.
Regarding the large investments in technology around the world, Al-Rumayyan said “Our investment is not only through major companies, but also we are looking forward and heading to all technical spectrums. We are interested not only in the current financial investments, and we are heading towards several investments, as well as the common economies and the quality of companies, in addition to traditional technologies".
He also indicated that there is an improvement and rise in the primary market and there is no concern about it, while in the secondary and financial markets, the levels of concern may be higher.
During the session, the participants explained that the markets and the economy in the world have witnessed strength in general, the increase in the percentage of some assessments and some recovery expected in the second half of 2020-2021, expecting that some sectors will achieve an effective rise in the next quarter.
They also emphasized that 2021 is heading to see some changes in the currency and inflation and that the value of money is very important, pointing out that providing excellent credit solutions must be considered in the economic performance and changing the financial status to avoid what happened in 2020 of large number of debts.