The 25th edition of the Latibex Forum, the benchmark meeting between European investors and Latin American companies organized by BME, held its first day today. Until tomorrow, the Madrid Stock Exchange will host more than 250 meetings between more than 40 listed companies from Latin America and Spain and 70 national and international investors. Throughout its history, more than 200 companies and 1,000 investors have attended the Latibex Forum, where 8,000 meetings have been held. As every year, panels on current issues affecting the region are held in parallel to the meetings between listed companies and investors.
The event's inaugural lunch was led by Javier Hernani, CEO of BME; Alberto Fortún, partner at Cuatrecasas, and Víctor Matarranz, Global Head of Wealth Management and Insurance at Santander. Javier Hernani, who is also president of the Ibero-American Federation of Exchanges (FIAB), stressed the role of financial markets in Latin America's growth. "Latin American stock exchanges and stock markets have more than 2,700 listed companies and more than 13,000 public and private bond issues. Undoubtedly, this places the stock exchanges in a privileged position to help the region's economic development," he said.
In his speech, he also reviewed the priorities of his two-year presidency at the helm of FIAB and reaffirmed BME's commitment to the region and its opportunities in areas such as technology and the transition to the T+1 settlement cycle in the Americas. "We see a clear growth potential in the countries where we have a solid BME network and presence, with special attention to markets such as Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama," he said.
For his part, Alberto Fortún emphasized Spain's central role as a gateway for Latin American companies to Europe and said that Cuatrecasas will always support all initiatives that strengthen trade exchanges between Spain and Latin America. Víctor Matarranz pointed out that Latin American economies have been surprisingly good for years and that the region has tripled its exports in the last two years. He also pointed out that the region is key to global sustainability.
The panel dedicated to the macroeconomic environment in Latin America, moderated by Mariana Longobardo, from BME's Research Department, and which included speakers such as Alejandro Padilla (Banorte), Germán Ríos (IE University) and Juan Cerruti (Santander), took the pulse of the region's economy and its main challenges and opportunities. They all agreed on how well the region's central banks have stepped up to contain inflation. They also highlighted the impact of political changes on the economy, especially the region's social inequality. Among its strengths, they highlighted the impact of nearshoring in the region, its importance in essential raw materials and the growth of international investment.
Another of the day's panels dealt with investment opportunities in the region. The speakers on the panel, representatives of Caja Ingenieros Gestión, Fidelity International, Renta 4 Gestora and Morningstar, all agreed that Mexico and Brazil are the two countries that offer the most opportunities. They also explained that sustainability is becoming increasingly important for investment in Latin America and stressed that the region is much more than raw materials, as sectors such as finance, consumption and renewable energies are also of interest.
The last panel of the day was dedicated to urban sustainability and energy transition. In it, representatives of Astana Intelligence, Rotoplas and Sacyr explained the great potential in this field in Latin America. They stressed that the positive environmental impact of a sustainable city can be key to mitigating the consequences of climate change.
Tomorrow, meetings between listed companies and investors will continue. In addition, five panel discussions will be held throughout the day dedicated to renewable energies, Spain's role as a gateway to Ibero-American investment in Europe, sustainable financing with Uruguay as a success story and digitalization as a lever for change.
Santander and Cuatrecasas are the main sponsors of the Latibex Forum, which has Morningstar, CAF- the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean, ICEX, Invest in Madrid, Economatica, Euroland IR and World Television as sponsors and the Spanish Institute of Analysts, Atribus and CFA Society Spain as collaborators.
You can find more information about the Forum and register to watch the first day's panels again or follow tomorrow's panels on the Forum's website.