Full house at an open meeting on foreign investments

14.9.2017 Philanthropy

Over 200 people attended GAMMA Capital Management's seminar on foreign investment and gains from international asset diversification.

Gamma_13092017-14Many attended GAMMA Capital Management's seminar on foreign investment held at Tjarnarbíó Theatre 
last Tuesday. Evidently there is great interest in foreign investment and the opportunities brought about by the lifting of capital controls.

The seminar was titled, ‘An Investors Book of Travels', was a reference to the travel book of famous Icelandic explorer, Jón Ólafsson who wrote about his visit to India in 1661. 

Valdimar Ármann, CEO of GAMMA in Iceland, talked about the book in his opening remarks, adding that the travel book of Icelandic investors after the lifting of capital controls, remained to be written. He said the current situation was rightfully viewed as a starting point for investors looking to diversify their assets and their risk by investing abroad.

“The lifting of capital controls beginning last winter is the biggest change the Icelandic financial market has seen in nine years,” Ármann said in his remarks. He summarized how GAMMA Capital Management had in the past two years prepared for the lifting of the controls and sought out future opportunities for the company's clients.

Gamma_13092017-3Valdimar Ármann, CEO of GAMMA in Iceland

In his speech, ‘A Micro-Currency Floated', Dr. Friðrik Már Baldursson, professor of economics and GAMMA's economics consultant, spoke about the status of the krona (ISK) after the lifting of currency controls earlier this year. Baldursson said the krona's real exchange rate, now among the strongest in the world, was likely to seek balance over a longer period. He stated that the present current-account surplus supported the krona and that there was little chance of it strengthening further, especially considering how little Icelanders had invested abroad as of yet.

“We are back in financial relations with the rest of the world, so financial factors are important again and effect other domestic factors,” Baldursson said, while emphasizing the importance of continuing to improve Iceland's international financial relations.

Gamma_13092017-18Hafsteinn Hauksson, economist at GAMMA Capital Management in London.

Hafsteinn Hauksson, economist at GAMMA Capital Management in London, gave an interesting talk called ‘Returning to the Playing Field'. He covered the status of foreign markets during the time of capital controls in Iceland, i.e. the low interest rate policy of foreign central banks, the Euro crisis, surprising outcome of elections abroad (such as Brexit and Trump getting elected) and finally, the so called fourth industrial revolution, reflected in the enormous growth of IT-companies, the sharing economy, etc.

Hauksson talked about how companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon had seen share price increases way above those of companies in the S&P500 index. He also added that the market price of so called unicorns, companies like Uber, AirBnb, Pinterest, Dropbox and others, was currently over one billion USD. There are more than 200 such companies registered on western markets. Naturally, Icelandic investors had not had the chance to invest in those companies in the times of capital controls.

Gamma_13092017-21Gísli Hauksson, chairman of GAMMA Capital Management.

Finally, Gísli Hauksson, chairman of GAMMA Capital Management, introduced GAMMA's services abroad, current opportunities and how investors diversify their risk by taking part in different markets. As an example, Hauksson pointed out that while 17 companies were now listed on the Icelandic stock market, investors could, by using GAMMA's services, invest in thousands of companies all over the world. Hauksson also added that the stock market was only one of many possible fields of investment, investors would be prudent to also look into investing in funds, bonds, and currencies, thereby incorporating sensible diversification of risk.

Hauksson also acquainted guests with GAMMA's guiding investment principles, whether domestic or abroad, and how GAMMA helps its clients to build a foreign asset portfolio considering ROI goals, risk tolerance and market conditions. GAMMA Capital Management cooperates with a hand-picket group of the world's foremost financial companies in the fields of banking and fund management, enabling the company to provide complete service when it comes to managing its clients' foreign investment at a more competitive rate than otherwise possible.

Additionally, Hauksson said that foreign investors' interest in Iceland was greater than before and that it was safe to assume that foreign investment would be rising in Iceland, i.e. in infrastructure, companies, real-estate, and bonds.

Gamma_13092017-29From left: Valdimar Ármann, CEO of GAMMA in Iceland, Gísli Hauksson, chairman and Co-Founder of GAMMA Capital Management, Hafsteinn Hauksson, economist at GAMMA Capital Management in London and Dr. Friðrik Már Baldursson, professor of economics and GAMMA's economics consultant.