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Insight Weekly: Bank boards lag on gender parity; future of office in doubt; US LNG exports leap

Today is Tuesday, September 20, 2022, and here’s your weekly selection of essential intelligence on financial markets and the global economy from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Subscribe to be notified of each new Insight Weekly.

In this edition of Insight Weekly, we examine the gender parity in banking boardrooms. Only seven of the 30 largest European banks by assets have more than 50% female representation on their boards, according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Several lenders could struggle to meet tougher regulatory requirements on gender parity. In the Gulf Cooperation Council region, most big banks do not have women directors. The findings are an indication of the work the banking sector must do to improve gender balance among top executives.

Efforts to get employees to return to offices full time have fallen flat, and foot traffic in office buildings continues to linger below pre-pandemic levels. The result is a widespread reimagining of the workplace that has ominous implications for commercial real estate owners and investors. Real gross investment in commercial structures is forecast to decline through 2025 in part due to challenges posed by remote work, according to Ben Herzon, economics director at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Global imports of U.S. liquefied natural gas nearly doubled year over year to $21.2 billion in the first half of 2022, according to data from Panjiva. Many of those U.S. exports departed for Europe as the war in Ukraine prompted a scramble for LNG supplies. Market experts have warned that LNG shipments cannot quickly replace curtailed pipeline imports from Russia and that the region's need for significant LNG volumes will remain strong.

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Written and compiled by Louis Bacani

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