UniCredit's first European Investment Conference in Munich attracts over 400 delegates from 20 countries in Europe and beyond
Industry experts representing the full spectrum of European corporates, financial institutions and investors gathered in Munich on September 25 to discuss the many challenges of operating and investing in Europe today. In his keynote speech "Beyond the Euro Crisis" Klaus Regling, CEO of ESM (European Stability Mechanism), highlighted the progresses made and the potential of further integration such as a Euro area finance minister, a fiscal capacity for the Euro area and joint debt issuance. In several different panels delegates exchanged views on how they are tackling the issues in search for growth despite the difficulties imposed by new regulations, impact of geo-political tensions, weaker growth from Emerging Markets and inflation hitting a new cyclical low.
The spectrum for corporate funding remains broad and diversified with capital markets continuing to gain importance for European issuers. Although issuance volumes are forecasted to be slightly lower this year, after last year's record high of EUR 435bn in Europe issued by non-financial corporations, conference participants expect continued strong capital markets momentum in 2015.
"The timing of our first European Investment Conference could not have been better as the pace and variety of developments and changes we are seeing within Europe are quite overwhelming. Our clients need solutions that support safe navigation through the challenges in this unique environment. We are here to assist them to do so, by offering our expertise and investment advice, as their strategic partner" Andreas Bohn, Head of CIB Germany UniCredit commented.
Erik F. Nielsen, UniCredit's Global Chief Economist, talking about the outlook for Europe in an increasingly complex world and made an appeal for increased investments in infrastructure across Europe. He highlighted that public investment levels are at a record low, yet funding costs are also at a record low, pointing out that borrowing for an investment does not increase deficit or debt in the medium term. "Europe needs its policymakers to continue recent years' structural reforms, especially in the periphery, but also to provide stimulus via a comprehensive public investment program, including Germany which suffers from a deteriorating capital stock while benefiting from a healthy balance sheet."
Overall, delegates confirmed that embracing the European spirit is key to succeeding as a European player in the global market place and also to reduce distance between real economy and the international bodies defining the regulatory framework. As one panelist concluded during the Corporate Treasury Panel: "Our single voices will not be heard. We need to team up with our European neighbours."