MENA FX Conference postponed, can Ukraine crisis be real reason?

The imminent MENA FX conference in Dubai has been postponed, with organizers citing events in Russia and Ukraine as the reason despite distance. LeapRate gains industry opinion

Just how much influence on an event organized in one region, can the change in political stability of another region have?

Whereas it may be most certainly fair to say that business providing physical goods and services would unlikely be affected in one part of the world by occurrences in others, the intangible world of FX trading most certainly can be, as the Middle East and North Africa FX conference (MENA FX Conference), scheduled to take place in Dubai, has been postponed, with organizers citing the political situation in the Ukraine and Crimea being annexed to Russia as the reason.

This particular conference was due to take place imminently, however attendees and delegates are now faced with attempting to recoup costs associated with the conference given that it has been put on hold until further notice.

LeapRate contacted firms which were expecting to attend, in order to ascertain the possible reasoning behind such a move, and if it could be at all possible that events in one continent could cause the cancellation of a conference in an entirely different one.

Paul Belogour, CEO of BMFN, a company with substantial business in the Asia Pacific region which provides a full turnkey solution to introducing brokers and has 4,000 active partners explained his view on the political situation in that “What is happening, is that this first wave of emotions put the politicians where they supposed to be, Europe and US are trying to be protrayed as good guys as they always are so they need to make it public that they are doing something.”

“Russia until now did not retaliate as they know that if they reply, then it is going to go down hill from there. Therefore, if the Russians will do nothing and business as usual prevails, this whole thing will go away, the Europeans will find some kind of political solution, pull some smoke over the public eyes and convince the US to back off, as they cannot afford another recession” Mr. Belogour said. “Where the Europeans and Americans got hooked up is what to do with Ukraine, as all the hype is down, somebody has to pay.

That is the difficult part, the Ukrainian Oligarchs now have a lot of power within the country, with With government comprised of radicals and corrupt officials, that did not go away” is Mr. Belogour’s opinion. Therefore, if Europe and US give them money, where will it go? It will most likely be stolen, plus Russia provides 100% energy to Ukraine, so some of that money will have to go to Russia.”

When reviewing the possible reason why this could have any effect on the cancellation of the MENA FX conference, Mr. Belogour asserted rather than having any bearing whatsoever on global politics “It is very simple, the organizers did not have enough subscription. If you have ever been to one of those shows, there are very few visitors at all.”

“We come here to do face to face sales, we dont even bring customers to the booths, but others were spending a sizeable amount of money expecting some traffic, when there is none. In the United Arab Emirates, as with most of the Middle East, it is not what one can expect, it is not China. All of the business in the Middle East and most of the Arab world is done through networking, and all of the business to an Indian client base is done via cold calling. There are no other means of doing it” said Mr. Belogour.

For this reason, it is of utmost importance for a conference to contain the components which are relevent to the industry audience, in order to engage them. In most regions, where a substantial outlay from companies is required, the delegates wish to do business with each other to monetise the attendance, rather than to hold an audience on specific subjects which is time consuming and does not allow delegates to interact and maximize their business opportunities.

On this basis, Mr. Belogour explained that “The MENA show is effectively a come-and-party for the middle management event. It is run twice a year, and apperently after Novemeber nobody wanted to go again in March.”

One London-based institutional FX firm which requested anonymity had intended to be present had only been informed ten days prior to the postponing, with the company’s spokesperson explaining to LeapRate today that “We were shocked that the conference was postponed at such short notice and for such spurious reasons.”

“This being their 13th show, we are very disappointed that this could happen to such an established event that has been sponsored by so many well known firms in the past” was this particular company’s view.

The spokesperson continued to provide corporate opinion that “this conference has got nothing to do with the Ukraine whatsoever. I do not understand why they dont just go ahead and hold the conference. We still have heard nothing at all from the organizers. It looks like a cash-flow issue to me.”

One senior executive from a Prime Brokerage firm explained that he attended in November last year. Whilst he concurred that it was a very well organised event with a large number of exhibitors, mainly represented by Western companies, attendance by visitors was very low.

Victor Masalov, Executive Director at EXNESS explained that EXNESS had intended to participate in this particular event. His view is that “the organizers likely had some quantifiable reasons to postpone but will be likely to launch it later this year. It is not ideal for us that it was postponed, however we will participate in it when it is launched and I think they will provide a solution which is suitable for us.”

Currently there is no update from the organizers as to the rescheduling of the fixture.

For more on the global Forex industry see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report.


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