The 2020 Medcap Forum today closed its sixteenth edition, the first to be held virtually, as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. There were three days of intense activity, with 12 panels in which experts from different companies and firms reflected on topical issues, paying special attention to the impact on the economy of the coronavirus crisis.
Over the three-day event more than 3,000 people were connected to any of its panels. The event also hosted over 1,300 meetings between representatives of the more than 100 companies and over 200 investors who attended the Forum, of which 52% came from outside Spain.
The third session of the Forum featured a panel on financing solutions through Fixed Income markets, with the participation of Gonzalo Gómez Retuerto, General Manager, BME Renta Fija. During his speech he highlighted that in recent years MARF, which was born after the previous crisis, has become a benchmark market for the application of public policies, referring both to the 4 billion-euro guarantee line launched by ICO, a state owned bank attached to the Ministry of the Economy and Business, for MARF-registered commercial paper programmes, recently approved by the Government and to the investments made by ICO in this market. To date, this body has invested 210 million euros in commercial paper programmes registered with MARF. "We praise the effort made by Public Administrations to help liquidity reach businesses", he stressed.
The General Manager of BME Renta Fija also stated that the growth recorded by MARF in recent years shows a structural change in the Spanish economy, due to the greater access by all types of companies to new financing formulas. This is why capital markets will play a significant role in coming out of the Covid-19 crisis, he added.
On the panel, moderated by Raquel Arechabala, Director of Investments and Business, Norbolsa, also were Adolfo Estévez, Managing Director, Axesor, Fernando Zabalgogeazcoa, Chief Financial Officer, Ormazabal and Marco Pineda, Corporate Chief Executive Officer, Sidenor. All of them highlighted how important it is for companies to diversy their financing sources through the different instruments offered by Fixed Income markets, such as MARF.
The last panel of the Forum dealt with the digitisation of the economy and was moderated by Berta Ares, General Manager, BME Inntech, who stated that “we live in a world that changes very fast and requires a continuous capacity for adaptation. There is no turning back in the current digitisation process, which goes hand in hand with technologies such as blockchain or artificial intelligence”.
Also sharing their outlook on digitisation trends and the future challenges were Gabriela Orille, Co-CEO, MyInvestor; Pablo Martín, CEO, Izertis and José Antonio Martínez, CEO, Making Science. All of them pointed out the advantages of technology to boost the economy and improve society, as evidenced by the coronavirus crisis, which has been a kind of "stress test" of the digitisation of companies.
Another of the tables arousing the most expectation was led by Mónica Muñoz, Sales Director, Morningstar, and Lola Solana, Head of Small Caps & ESG Equity Funds, Santander AM, who during the panel stated that the coronavirus crisis has created a unique opportunity to buy highly depressed, quality debt-free securities. Solana revealed that she had made changes to her portfolios in recent weeks, to invest in sectors such as technology, pharmaceuticals, stable consumption and communications and to exit sectors structurally damaged by the Covid-19 crisis.
In her opinion, small and medium-sized companies are less volatile than large ones and, in the long term, offer higher returns. "Without these companies, there is no way out of the crisis, which is why we have to trust them," she said.
As during the previous two days of the Forum, there has also been time to discuss the current situation and future plans of different sectors relevant to the Spanish economy. This time the discussion revolved around the real estate sector, with a panel moderated by Alberto Valls, Partner, Deloitte, in which Ricardo Pumar, Chairman, Grupo Insur, Jorge Pérez de Leza, CEO, Metrovacesa and Javier Illán, Chairman, Millenium Hotels Real Estate took part. The three speakers shared their vision on the challenges facing the sector and how the Covid-19 crisis is affecting each segment of their activity. Javier Illán, Chairman of the REIT Millennium Hotels Real Estate, listed on MAB, highlighted the company's intention to move on to the continuous market, next year if possible or in early 2022.
The seventeenth edition of the Medcap Forum will be held next year, an event which has consolidated itself as a must-attend event for investors and small and medium capitalisation companies in Spain.
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