Former Greek fin­ance minister Yanis Varoufakis to headline NBAD forum

Greece’s colourful former fin­ance minister Yanis Varoufakis will headline Abu Dhabi’s biggest annual financial gathering this year, joining the former British prime minister Tony Blair and economist Mohamed El Erian to discuss the burning market and economic questions of the day.

The home team line-up will be led by Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation.

The two-day Global Financial Markets conference on March 1 and 2 will hear debates on topics ranging from energy, renewables, sovereign wealth funds, China’s economic outlook, the effect of European debt crises to challenges in the region.

The event is organised by Nat­ional Bank of Abu Dhabi.

“NBAD’s Global Financial Markets Forum has become one of the most prestigious gatherings of influential thought leaders and decision-makers from around the world, and we do continuously strive to raise the bar in each successive year,” said Mahmood Al Aradi, senior managing director and head of global markets at NBAD.

Past speakers at the conference, which is now in its eighth year, include the former US Federal Reserve chairmen Ben Bernanke and Paul Volcker, and former US secretaries of state Colin Powell and James Baker.

More than 1,500 delegates have attended the Global Financial Forum in the past.

Highlights of last year’s conference included a defence by the Central Bank governor Mubarak Al Mansoori of the UAE currency’s peg with the US dollar.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the largest lender by assets in the UAE, also used the forum as a platform to showcase its efforts to grow its business in emerging markets.

Alex Thursby, the bank’s chief executive, is betting that the lender’s growth in the coming years will be fuelled, in part, by what he calls the West-East corridor that spans fast-growing emerging markets such as China, India and Egypt.


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