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Around 250 issuers, investors and intermediaries attended the 13th annual Euromoney Germany Conference in Berlin this April. This year with a new venue and a new format the event provided a forum for the discussion of the recent global and economic events and their impact on the German economy and markets.
The event started with keynote speeches by Ludger Schuknecht of the Federal Finance Ministry, who explained the priorities of the G20 under this year’s German chairmanship, and Peter Bofinger of the German Council of Economic experts who gave an economists viewpoint on the challenges and policy options ahead for the Eurozone. The first panel of the day continued with the economic theme discussing the problem of Germany’s excessive trade surplus, the possible re-emergence of inflation and the economy’s vulnerability to political threats including Brexit and the possibility of more euro-sceptical governments in some Eurozone countries.
After the coffee break there were a series of keynote interviews. Tammo Diemer of the German Finance Agency discussed the implications of recent market and political developments on his funding plans for the German government. Heribert Hirte MP then discussed the forthcoming Brexit negotiations and described both the way in which the ‘Brexit bill’ might be calculated and the inevitable disputes on this when Britain renounces the jurisdiction of the European Courts of Justice. He also discussed the status of the British employees of the European Union and his scepticism about the possibility of further successful debt renegotiations with Greece.
Peter Westaway of Vanguard Europe then discussed the risk of inflation in Germany and, in a theme that many subsequent panels returned to, the impact on the increasing inflation of the ECB’s monetary policy and quantative easing programmes. In the final interview before lunch Bernd Lucke, MEP discussed his proposals for legislation for the covered bond market, why they were needed and what risks the covered bond market faces going forward.
After the lunch break the conference split into two streams.
In the first stream a panel of German public sector issuers discussed their funding plan for the year, in particular in light of the possible end of the public sector purchase programme, increased pressure on investment banks in the sector and the role of non-Euro funding in their overall funding needs. Following on from this there was then a panel discussion on the status of the green and socially responsible fixed income markets, how to encourage further issuance, including from sovereign and corporate bonds and how asset managers should address their fiduciary responsibilities.
In the second stream one panel discussed the changes necessary to the structure of the asset management industry in Germany in response to technological and regulatory changes. After this a panel of corporate treasurers discussed their funding needs, the threats to their traditional bank heavy funding models and new opportunities which are emerging to replace them.
In a first for the Germany conference delegates then joined in a succession of smaller informal target tables which discussed in more detail some of the key topics that had been addressed earlier in the day. Finally, the day concluded with a wide ranging discussion on the state of the German banking market, in particular in light of the development of the Capital Market Union and the changes to senior debt’s bail-in status.
Euromoney would like to thank the conference sponsors, speakers and participants for their support. We much look forward to returning for the 2018 instalment.
For sponsorship enquiries, please contact Andrew Lennon at email@example.com / +44 20 7779 8043.