UniCredit and Kepler Cheuvreux today announced that more than 200 international investors and over 45 Milan-listed companies attended the annual Italian Investment Conference 2014, which took place at the UniCredit Tower in Milan, on 4 and 5 June. The number of international investors attending this year has doubled, compared to last year.
The Italian Investment Conference, which is the leading capital markets event in Italy, brings together the largest and most representative Italian corporates with key international investors providing a unique opportunity for networking, introductions and business opportunities, as well as a platform to discuss trends in the Italian economy.
Commenting on the conference, Vittorio Ogliengo, Head of CIB Italy says: "We are delighted by the strong interest of investors and companies to attend our conference in Milan. Equity issuance in Italy is expected to increase to EUR 15bn this year, compared to EUR 3.3bn in 2013, and this year's successful conference confirms the strong appetite for Italian assets by international investors. It also further affirms UniCredit's strong position as the point of reference for Italian corporate clients looking for capital markets solutions and global investors who want to access attractive investment opportunities in Italy. The success of the event also shows the great benefits for our clients of our joint venture with Kepler Cheuvreux "
In view of a gradual recovery of the Italian economy this year, the main focus of investors revolved around the equity capital markets with several Italian companies planning to access the Italian stock exchange through Initial Public Offerings in 2014.
Investors interest is also very high in the bond market and particularly in High Yield issues, which reflects the uniqueness of the Italian corporate backbone and offers the opportunity to invest in high quality mid-sized companies yielding high returns.
Eric Nielsen, UniCredit's Global Chief Economist, said: "Italy's GDP disappointed in the first quarter, but we expect economic growth to re-accelerate throughout this year. Nevertheless, GDP growth is likely to remain subdued, at 0.5%, before rising to above 1.0% in 2015. Amid normalization in economic growth and investors' healthy appetite for risk, progressive improvement in the outlook for the sovereign rating should keep investor demand for Italian assets well supported".
Ruggero Bottazzi, Head of Kepler Cheuvreux Italy, adds: ''Once again, it has been a pleasure to work with our partners at UniCredit.Year-to-date, Italy has had one of the world's best performing stock markets. The investor interest at this year's conference suggests that this trend may continue.''
Milan, 5 June 2014