45th ACI World Congress Attracts Global Market Experts, Investors

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The 45th ACI World Congress is an international gathering of financial markets experts. Approximately 500 international and local delegates will attend this year's Congress in Manila May 26-27. The Congress features keynotes by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines, and plenary and panel discussions by world financial markets leaders.

The 45th ACI World Congress taking place in Manila May 26-27 is only the fifth such international congress to take place outside Europe, and so far has attracted close to 150 foreign delegates and potential investors.

ACI Philippines president Jose Emmanuel Hilado said over 400 delegates have already registered for the conference, taking place May 25-27. Approximately 500 participants are expected to attend the international meeting.

Hilado is also treasurer of BDO Private Bank. ACI Philippines is the local member-association of ACI – The Financial Markets Association, a Paris-based international umbrella organization of financial markets practitioners represented in 64 countries.

According to Hilado, the conference organizers have relied on the local banking community for financial support for the Congress. He and other financial executives involved in the Congress said local financial institutions are supportive because they believe the Congress will favorably impact perception of the Philippines as country in which to invest.

“HSBC is enthusiastically and substantially supporting the Congress because it is attracting people who will put their money in the Philippines if you give them enough reason to. The best way to start convincing them to invest here is to encourage them to come to the Philippines. And we cannot do that unless we promise them a world-class event—and give them that,” said Roberto Baltazar, HSBC head of Foreign Exchange.

“This is the first time the ACI World Congress is taking place in the Philippines,” said Organizing Committee chairman Jose Arnulfo Veloso. Veloso, is also treasurer for HSBC in the Philippines.

“The mere fact that ACI Philippines was able to bring the event to Manila is an important accomplishment in itself,” Veloso said.

“Putting together an international Congress is not an easy task, especially when it is conducted at world-class standards,” said Veloso. “Fortunately, with the help of the local banking community, together with the Bankers Association of the Philippines and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines), preparations for the 45th ACI World Congress have proceeded smoothly.”

Local and international banks with local branches providing financial support for the Congress include Citibank, Metrobank, BDO, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), HSBC and RCBC. Reuters and Money Brokers ICAP and Prebon are likewise major sponsors for the event.

“We at ACI Philippines and the 45th World Congress Organizing Committee are delighted with and honored by the support these banks have extended to us. We are also pleased with the broad level of appreciation within the finance industry for the full impact of the event on the national economy,” Hilado said.

“BPI is grateful for this opportunity to work with ACI Philippines in making the 45th World Congress possible. We are lending our support because we believe that the success of the Congress will result in dramatic improvements in the local financial markets, whether directly or indirectly," said Estelito C. Biacora, head of Foreign Exchange for Bank of the Philippine Islands and Finance Committee chairman of the ACI World Congress Organizing Committee.

“We have all witnessed consistently strong indicators that the peso is on its way to becoming a stable currency. The banking and finance industry can do more than watch the economy improve by complementing the government’s efforts with marketing and promotions. At the end of the day, it’s all about selling the Philippines to the rest of the world as a viable market for investment. Any activity that does that, like the 45th ACI World Congress, deserves our full support,” said Antonio Agcaoili, Jr., Asia United Bank treasurer and chairperson of the 45th ACI World Congress Programme Committee.

The 45th ACI World Congress is being organized by ACI Philippines, with the support of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the local banking community and the Department of Tourism, and managed by events management and marketing consultancy firm TeamAsia.

For more information on the 45th ACI World Congress, visit http://www.aciphils.com/worldcongress2006/, or send a fax +63 2 757 3510 or 757 3511.

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Michael Alan Hamlin
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