The opening remarks will be delivered by H.E Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidy, UAE Central Bank Governor, Dr. Jassim Al-Mannai, Director General Chairman of the Board of the Arab Monetary Fund, as well as Mr. Janamitra Devan, Vice President in charge of Financial Sector Development at the World Bank, Mr. Manfred Schepers, Vice President of the EBRD, Mr. Udaibir Das, Deputy Director of Monetary and Capital Markets at the IMF.
A number of senior representatives from Arab Ministries of Finance, Central Banks, Capital Markets Authorities and Stock Markets, as well as various international and regional financial and investment institutions from the across the Arab World will attend this workshop.
The two-day Conference will be an opportunity to discuss the status of corporate bond markets in Arab countries and the challenges faced in terms of legal and institutional framework and infrastructure required for developing efficient government and corporate bond and sukuk markets in the region. Discussion will also focus on the consequences of the international financial crisis and issues of European sovereign debt on the market in the region.
Among the topics to be tackled at the event as well are harmonizing regional regulation and practice, incentivizing companies to issue, growing the investor base, and trading systems tailored for bonds and sukuk.
At this occasion, Dr. Jassim Al-Mannai, Director General and Chairman of the Board of the Arab Monetary Fund stressed ”the vital importance of developing Debt Capital Markets in the Arab region specifically since the onset of the recent international financial crises, which were accompanied by a decrease in capital flows and cross-border banking loans, as well as within the context of the latest changes in international standards and more particularly the Basel III framework and its new liquidity management set of rules. The Arab region is facing tremendous increase in financing needs, particularly those countries going through political changes. Developing these markets will benefit the region not only by expanding alternative sources of financing, but also contributing to enhancing financial stability.”
On the same topic, Mr. Jose Vinals, Financial Counselor and Director of Monetary and Capital Markets Department said that: “Developing local bond markets has become a critical part of policy agenda in many emerging market and developing countries. For many sovereigns, the ability to raise funds domestically, on a prudent basis, has since been seen as a way to absorb external shocks and safeguard financial stability. It is for this reason that we value our partnership with the Arab Monetary Fund within the framework of the Arab Debt Market Development Initiative and look forward to its expanding reach in the region.”
Mr. Janamitra Devan, Vice President in charge of Finance and Private Sector Development at The World Bank, confirmed that: “In cooperation with other international institutions and in particular the Arab Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group is committed to supporting the development of stronger and more efficient local-currency capital markets in the MENA region. This specifically applies to expanding public and private bond markets which should play a more important role as alternative sources of funding in the region to support growth by channeling capital towards productive investments, mobilize longer-term funding, better integrate MENA countries into the global financial system, and improve the resiliency of the financial sector.”
Mr. Manfred Schepers Vice president and CFO, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said that developing local currency finance and capital markets has been at heart of the EBRD’s work in east Europe, and we look forward through the cooperation with the Arab Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions to share our experience in this regard in the Arab region.
From the point of view of market participants, Mr. Michael Grifferty, President of the Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association, commented, “The regional bond and sukuk industry clearly welcomes this conference as an important opportunity to give further guidance and momentum to the regional debt markets.”
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