Economics & Strategy – Currency & Foreign Exchange: 2013 First
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Economics & Strategy – Currency & Foreign Exchange: 2013 First

Deutsche Bank vaults from third place to make its first appearance at No. 1.

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Muhammad Umar Bilal Hafeez & team

Deutsche Bank

“They’ve been invaluable for day-to-day coverage of the euro crisis and its implications.”

Deutsche Bank vaults from third place to make its first appearance at No. 1. Muhammad Umar Bilal Hafeez, 35, leads the global crew of 12, with researchers in London, New York, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. Now that the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone is easing, the team leader says, investors are turning their attention to the weakening of the yen; the Japanese currency is at its lowest level in nearly three years against the dollar and the euro. “The big question is whether this trend will continue over the course of this year,” Hafeez says. “Our view is that it will,” owing to the Bank of Japan’s dovish policies and the nation’s declining current-account balance, among other factors. The team’s advice? Sell the yen and buy the euro, at least in the short term, especially since the latter currency has been gaining strength as the crisis in Europe has abated. The strategists produce “some of the best in foreign exchange research,” cheers one ally. Hafeez, who is based in London, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at England’s University of Cambridge; he was a foreign exchange strategist at J.P. Morgan before moving to Deutsche Bank in 2002. — Carolyn Koo


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