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Boom despite the Gloom

Simon Cooper, Deputy Chairman and CEO, HSBC Middle East & North Africa, discusses the past year and reinforcing its position as a leading international bank.

May 22, 2012 2:15 by

The European banking sector has been mauled in the crisis. To what extent will MENA and your bank be impacted?

It’s too early to assess the full impact, but the MENA region appears relatively insulated. EU distress is likely to have a modest bearing on overall performance.

Having said that, the financial sector in the GCC is heavily reliant on overseas capital for domestic funding, so impact risk is greater as oil-rich Gulf States con­tinue building assets overseas rather than deploying surplus funds at home. European-led de-leveraging will also make it more difficult and costly for the region to access fresh funding. As you’d expect, we continue to monitor the situation and have contin­gency plans for a broad range of sce­narios that could arise from a crisis of this nature.

Dubai also had its own moment of crisis, how has this affected your operations and plans for the region?

As a global bank HSBC has decades of experience operating in varied and chal­lenging environments; we have operated in MENA for more than 50 years. This experience means that although challeng­es like those faced by Dubai may affect short-term operating plans, we remain focused on maintaining customer rela­tionships and sustainable growth, while at the same time monitoring risk carefully.

For example – while some global competitors have closed their local trad­ing desks in recent years, we’ve kept ours open. The reason for this is very simple: that is the best way for us to give our customers an informed view of the region.


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