Following the success of last year's seminar in Hong Kong, BBVA's Central Banks and Sovereign Wealth Funds team held the event's second annual edition on 24 -26 of April in Madrid.

This year's event, which was inaugurated by Juan Asúa, Head of BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking, brought together at the La Moraleja Campus the representatives of 15 institutions with combined reserves of some $5.5 trillion, representing approximately one third of the global total. The institutions present included the world's first and third-ranked sovereign wealth funds: the Government Pension Fund Global (Norway) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (China) respectively.

The aim of this year's ambitious programme, which included 21 speakers, was to highlight investment opportunities in Latin America and Europe for those central banks and sovereign wealth funds that have chosen BBVA as their key local partner. As well as offering an overview of Latin America, the seminar highlighted the benefits of including Latin American currencies in a diversified, liquid and profitable international reserves portfolio. Once again, most of the presentations were made by local BBVA specialists representing the main investment banking products: Global Markets, Asset Management, Corporate Finance and Global Transaction Banking.

Guest speakers included leading representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the Spanish Treasury, the Bank of Spain, the Bank of Mexico and the Central Reserve Bank of Peru. All were very positive about the event, which they described as innovative and exceptionally relevant. They also underlined the value that events of this kind can provide in enhancing the technical skills of reserve managers and the importance of private banks such as BBVA in offering applied training to market agents as significant as central banks and sovereign wealth funds.

As the participants emphasised, this type of gathering is essential for institutions which are actively exploring investment and reserves diversification opportunities in the region, with BBVA supporting this investment process with a high value-added service. This initiative was headed by the Central Banks and Sovereign Wealth Funds team belonging to Corporate & Investment Banking's Global Public Finance unit, which is responsible for providing client coverage to these important institutions.