Bank of Valletta organised this year’s eTrader+ Investor Clinic with the Maltese French Chamber and in collaboration with Saxo Bank for the members of the Chamber. Participants were addressed by Mr Joseph Bugeja, President of the Chamber and Mr Kenneth Farrugia, Chief Business Development Officer (Investment) at Bank of Valletta. The event was presided over by H.E. Madame Béatrice le Fraper du Hellen, French Ambassador to Malta and hosted at Palazzo de Piro in Imdina.
Welcoming the participants, Mr Joseph Bugeja gave an overview of the functions of the Maltese French Chamber and its endeavours in attracting French business to invest in Malta. In relation to the working relationship between the Chamber and the Bank, Mr Bugeja explained that “the long standing business relationship with Bank of Valletta continues to yield benefits to its members and also to the number of new French businesses that continue to show interest to invest in Malta.”
In her address, H.E. Madame Béatrice le Fraper du Hellen explained that, “The French economy has weathered the crises of recent years, but there were old structural issues such as unemployment and new challenges such as climate change to address,” before proceeding to outline the key strategic pillars of reform by President Macron and the Government , such as investment in education, research and innovation, the ecological transition, social security reform as well as the modernisation of the French public services.
She then elaborated on the ongoing crossed investments between France and Malta, and the proactive role undertaken by the Chamber in a bid to foster close collaboration between the Maltese and French business communities.
Mr Christopher Dembik, Group Head of Macro-economic Analysis at Saxo Bank was the keynote speaker of the event. Discussing France’s recent positive economic performance, Mr Dembik who is often quoted internationally by influential business and financial media explained that, “This is not really linked to what we call ‘the Macron effect’, but results from the combination of three main factors.”
Here he referred to the inflow of cheap credit in the economy linked to the ECB monetary policy (which also pushed the euro exchange rate lower), Holland’s pro-business reforms and also the strong global momentum. France’s economy has reached a plateau at the end of 2017 but this is no time to panic. Consumption remains a traditional driver of GDP growth, bank loan growth is slightly lower but remains at elevated level. “The best proof that France is back, is certainly the fact that CDI (open-ended contracts) in new hiring are close to 47% in SMEs, which is more or less its pre-crisis level.”
Mr Dembik went on to say that, “Macron is the perfect president but at the wrong time. We see that a lot of headwinds are popping up at the global level that could negatively impact France. A key driver of lower growth is the contraction in global credit impulse led by China (which represents the flow of new credit issued by the private sector as percentage of GDP). It means that we should see lower growth by the end of the year at the global level.”
Participants were then given a live demo of the Bank’s online trading platform by Mr Yannick Beaujeu, Senior Sales Trader at Saxo Markets. The e-Trader+ powered by Saxo Bank is BOV’s online trading platform, launched in December 2015. Using the platform for illustration, Mr Beaujeu explained the importance that the investor has access to real-time market information of the prices of securities. He also explained that one may use the live demo for a free trial period of 20 days. This demo is easily accessible from here
Thanking the speakers for their valuable input and the Chamber for their cooperation in organising the event, Mr Kenneth Farrugia highlighted the fact that, “At Bank of Valletta, we feel it is our responsibility to invest in organising these sessions which are insightful and enriching to the participants.” Here he referred to the ongoing agreement with the Chamber that sees both entities pooling their resources, including the Bank’s specialised people, for the benefit of the members of the Chamber.
Referring to the Bank’s partnership with Saxo Bank, Mr Farrugia said that “At Bank of Valletta, we are committed to provide our customers, both retail and institutional, with a fully-fledged financial services proposition that encompasses the full spectrum of services from financing to investment. We are pleased to have partnered with Saxo Bank that is internationally recognised as a leader in the development of trading technology. Saxo Bank are not only making their platform available to Bank of Valletta customers, but are also bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise.”