Samir Assaf, Chairman of the Board of Directors of HSBC Bank in the Middle East and principal advisor to General Atlantic, said in an interview with Al-Arabiya that there are 3 factors that will determine the parameters of 2022, namely inflation, developments in the Corona crisis and geopolitical situations, especially wars that may break out, and every factor can affect the situation. international markets.
He explained that inflation will push central banks to determine the amount of interest rate hike, while the Corona pandemic has a significant impact on economic growth, in addition to Sino-American relations, the difficult situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, and the possible nuclear agreement between Iran and the West and its impact on oil prices.
Assaf expected the continuation of the positive atmosphere and progress in the stock markets during the new year.
He stressed the need to look at the Chinese market, because it was the most interesting, as it was delayed in 2021, and China is almost the only country in which inflation is largely confined, and they have the ability to reduce interest, in addition to investments in renewable energy and the ability to limit the problems of the real estate sector.
On the other hand, in the currency market, he expected the dollar’s strength to continue, especially during the first six months of the year, which is related to the interest rate hike by the Fed, which sees that it will take place 3 times in 2022 and twice in 2023 and the same in 2024, bringing the US interest rates back to 2 %.
As for the currencies of emerging countries, he believes that they will continue the difficult conditions despite the willingness of emerging markets to raise interest rates in developed countries.
He said cryptocurrencies are a commodity like other commodities, and digital currencies issued by central banks will exist and will vary in use, with China going to be the fastest in issuing them.
He pointed out that cryptocurrencies should constitute a small share within the investment portfolio, taking into account the large fluctuations in the crypto market and risk tolerance.
In metals, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of HSBC Bank Middle East and the main advisor at General Atlantic expected that the decline in gold and silver will continue during 2022 and 2023, affected by the interest hike, and the appetite for cryptocurrencies as investors switch from gold.
As for oil, he said that the demand for it is limited by the Corona pandemic, while supply is linked to production quantities with the halt of new investments in the energy sector.
He added that the agreement with Iran would bring down prices, expecting the latter to remain around the current levels.