World needs networked markets for stability

DUBAI - The global economy needs to design and move to an architecture of networked financial markets, which will create more stable and sustainable “spider web” model instead of the “hub-and-spoke” model that has so far dominated the world financial system and led to the creation of systemic risk, Dubai Financial Centre Authority Chief Economist Dr Nasser Saidi said.

By Abdul Basit

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Published: Tue 25 May 2010, 10:44 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:09 PM

“In 1976, the world’s economic centre of gravity was at a point between London and New York. However, in the 30 years since then, that centre of gravity has moved away towards the East and is now located somewhere between Dubai and Shanghai,” he said during the plenary debate of the MENASA Forum on Monday.

Dr Saidi said the global economic crisis will contribute to eradicating the hub-and-spoke model centred on London and New York and provide the impetus for a transition to a polycentric, “spider web” model.

“In a spider web model, instead of a small number of financial centres intermediating and reallocating the entire world’s savings, there will be numerous international financial centres — including the prominent examples of Dubai-Mumbai and Shanghai-across-the-globe — that have the capital market depth and regulatory sophistication to absorb excess capital from their own regions and elsewhere. Such a model will prevent the enormous accumulation of savings in just one or two financial centres. The GCC countries need to invest in financial services capacity in order to locally manage and control their rapidly growing financial wealth. This is happening in the DIFC,” he said.

Dr Saidi further said that the world’s new economic geography is reflected in the evolution of capital markets across the world. While the US accounted for 46 per cent of global capital markets in 1999, its share dropped to 28 per cent in 2009.

In comparison, emerging markets increased their share of global capital markets from eight per cent in 1999 to 32 per cent in 2009 while the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies increased their share from two per cent in 1999 to 19 per cent in 2009. Meanwhile, the GCC increased its share from 0.3 per cent to 1.2 per cent in the same period.

Dr Saidi also emphasised the vital need to develop local currency debt markets in the GCC region. “Well functioning debt markets will help reduce dependence on bank finance at a time when the banking sector is in a process of de-leveraging as well as provide governments with an alternative source of funding to smooth out volatile revenues will diminish macroeconomic and financial vulnerability from energy price fluctuations,” he said.

Other participants in the debate Deutsche Bank Co-Head of Global Capital Markets Ivor Dunbar and Shuaa Capital CEO Sameer Al Ansari.

“The Dubai World deal is a huge step towards the right direction,” Al Ansari said.

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