‘Arab financial markets will benefit from more corporate governance, transparency’, conference told

Out-Law News | 28 Nov 2014 | 11:41 am | 1 min. read

Measures are needed to improve corporate governance and transparency in Arab financial markets, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) conference has been told.

The first Arab Capital Markets Conference, organised by the Union of Arab Securities Authorities in collaboration with the Securities and Commodity Authority, Thomson Reuters and Arab Monetary Fund, said “new mechanisms and various technological services” were needed to meet market needs.

According to the official Emirates News Agency (Wam), the conference “stressed the importance of activating the role of corporate governance, enhancing transparency and support mechanism disclosures as well as a commitment to corresponding standards and law enforcement”.

Mahmoud Mostafa of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: “This current trend of stressing the importance of corporate governance, compliance and regulatory enforcement proceedings, shows that market players have learned the lessons of the last economic crisis and want to make sure Dubai enjoys as sustainable an economic growth as possible.”

Mostafa said: “Businesses also need to understand that although these regulations and requirements might not allow them to move as fast as they would otherwise like to, they nevertheless mitigate serious risks and provide for a reliable decision making environment.”

The UAE’s economy minister Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri told the conference that trading in the Arab financial markets has amounted to $711.61 billion since the start of 2014 up to 19 November, representing a total of 22.34 million deals, Wam said.

The minister said “strong economic blocs require maximum cooperation in order to overcome the challenges and difficulties faced by our joint work” at the forefront of legislative and organisational structures in the Arab stock markets and differences in the listing and disclosure requirements.

There were a record 23 IPO deals in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2013 raising $3bn, which was an increase of 64% in terms of volume and 51% in value terms over the previous year, Wam said.