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Expert says economy will take time to recover

Finance professionals in the Isle of Man have been told the global economy is showing signs of improvement but might not completely recover until 2012.

More than 60 members of the Island’s finance industry attended a seminar addressed by Standard Bank's chief economist Goolam Ballim.

He told delegates that considerable fiscal stimulus across the world would be needed to avoid a major recession this year, emphasising that investment managers needed to continue to be vigilant despite the improvement in financial markets since January.

Goolam Ballim was appointed Group Economist in 2004 having joined the bank’s Economics Division five years earlier. He has extensive experience of the bank’s trading and investment operations, as well as its corporate clients, and is a well respected commentator on economic issues in South Africa.

His breakfast briefing covered the outlook for the global economy through 2009 with a specific focus on Africa. It was held at Standard Bank's offices on Circular Road and was hosted by the head of Institutional and Intermediary Banking on the island, James Stokoe.

Mr Stokoe said: "Goolam's presentation was highly informative, and the feedback we have received so far from the large number of attendees has been excellent.

"His view is that although markets are stabilising, life is going to continue to be very tough throughout 2009, with the possibility that the global economy may even slip back again.

"The top priority for public authorities will be to try and stave off a deep recession but the odds are still stacked in favour of that happening.

"We believe it is very useful indeed for local finance practitioners to be able to attend this sort of event and have access to the considered views of a leading economist, with the high attendance reflecting the level of interest that Goolam's views hold for the Industry."

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