Welcome to the 27th edition of Perspectives.

The first half of 2019 is one of the most memorable on record with strong returns across all asset classes.

Confronted by weaker economic data, risks to the trade outlook, and still low inflation, central banks came to the rescue by opening the door to further monetary stimulus. Bad economic news became good news for financial markets as equities and credit rallied alongside traditional safe-haven assets such as government bonds and gold.

In the first part of this publication, we review the 10 stories to remember from this eventful first half of the year. We then share our views for the third quarter and beyond – we believe that the path for risk assets is becoming narrower but maintain a positive stance on risk assets.

The second part of this edition of Perspectives is dedicated to our regional markets. Middle East equities posted decent returns in the first half of this year although they lagged U.S and Emerging Markets equities.

We believe there are still some secular and cyclical reasons to be positive on MENA going forward. The special focus of the month is on the Kuwait MSCI Inclusion which puts spotlights on non-oil economy.

We hope you will enjoy this issue.