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Bank Muscat to host Dr Marc Faber on 4 December

MUSCAT, 29 November 2014 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, is hosting Dr. Marc Faber, renowned economist and investment analyst on 4 December. Dr. Faber will share his insights on the state of world economy and financial markets at a series of seminars organised by the bank's Treasury & Capital Markets division. The event will be attended by high profile dignitaries from the government and top corporate clients.

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: “The initiative comes as part of efforts by the bank aimed at equipping our valuable customers with the necessary insights on world economy and financial markets. We are gratified to facilitate this opportunity to listen and interact with one of the influential thinkers of our time. The topic is of utmost interest to all of us to keep abreast with the latest developments in world economy and financial markets."

Dr. Faber studied Economics at the University of Zurich and, at the age of 24, obtained a PhD in Economics. Dr Faber publishes a widely read monthly investment newsletter 'THE GLOOM BOOM & DOOM' report which highlights unusual investment opportunities, and is the author of several books, including 'TOMORROW'S GOLD – Asia's Age of Discovery' which was first published in 2002 and highlights future investment opportunities around the world. 'TOMORROW'S GOLD' was for several weeks on Amazon's best seller list and has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Thai and German.  A regular speaker at various investment seminars, Dr Faber is well known for his contrarian investment approach.  He is also associated with a variety of funds.

In a wide-ranging interview, Dr. Faber shared his insights on investment prospects around the world.  On his perceptions about the global economy in 2015, Dr Faber felt the global economy will be flat to down in 2015 as there is no growth in Europe, coupled with decelerating growth in most emerging economies and anaemic growth in the US, which might well go into reverse.

Dr Faber said the USD was likely to strengthen further in 2015 against the Euro and the Yen. Near-term he was of the view that there will be a USD correction. He also felt that the Fed was unlikely to increase rates in 2015.

Commenting on the possibility of eurozone becoming deflationary, Dr Faber said some sectors of the economy were deflating and some inflating. Inflation and deflation is not like black and white: it is far more complex, he added.

On the Japanese Yen, Dr Faber felt that the Yen could weaken further but right now the Yen is extremely oversold against the USD.

Commenting on the crude oil conundrum, Dr. Faber said demand growth has been slowing down and supply is up – largely as a result of US shale oil production. He also felt that some countries wanted to depress prices for political gains.

Dr. Faber said gold was likely to have bottomed out and there could be a $200 rally from the recent lows. He felt that a new leg in the gold bull market had begun.

On the Middle Eastern economies in general and the GCC in particular, Dr Faber said the decline in oil prices was likely to lead to a slowdown in economies in these countries.

On his investment preferences, Dr Faber said that in view of an uncertain future, he would maintain a diversified portfolio: 25 per cent real estate, 25 per cent cash and bonds, 25 per cent stocks, 25 per cent gold and silver.

Commenting on the emerging market space, Dr Faber said in 2014, India was up +30 per cent, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam +20 per cent and more, hence investors should be selective.