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The Second Arab Capital Markets Conference
“Enhancing Transparency and Financial Innovation”

 Published on: 03-Apr-2019

Under the patronage of His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Dr. Omar Al Razzaz, the Union of Arab Securities Authorities (UASA), in cooperation with Jordan Securities Commission (JSC), held the second Arab Capital Markets Conference on "Enhancing Transparency and Financial Innovation" in Fairmont Amman Hotel during 27-28 March 2019.

About 350 participants attended the event including regulators, Arab and regional stock exchanges, policy makers, economic and financial decision makers and leaders of Arab, regional and international financial institutions. The conference was sponsored by a number of local, regional and international entities, mainly the Arab Bank, the strategic sponsor of the conference, Cairo Amman Bank as gold partner, and Jordan TV as media partner. Supporting partners include to Jordan Investment Trust Company, Jordan Islamic Bank, CFA Institute, Jordan Kuwait Bank, Housing Bank, Excel Invest and Manafsoft. Gulf Bonds and Sukuk Association (GBSA) and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) were the professional partners of the conference.
The opening session of the conference started by the speech of His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Dr. Omar Al Razzaz represented by HE. Mohammed Saleh Al Hourani, Chairman of Jordan Securities Commission, and Mr. Fadi Fakih, Executive Member of Lebanon Capital Markets Authority board of directors and the representative of the UASA Chairman for the twelfth session. In addition to the Strategic partner Speech, presented by Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, CEO of the Arab Bank. And the speech of Mr. Jalil Tarif, the Secretary General of the Union of Arab Securities Authorities.
During the first session, the conference discussed the role of supervision in promoting the development of capital markets and protecting investors, how to contain systemic risks, default risk and market disruption, in addition to entry standards and capital requirements, and how to minimizing the damage and loss of investors. The new challenges facing MiFidII were also addressed.

The second session presented the ways how to cope with the challenges facing financial market infrastructure by adopting proper balance between regulation and innovation, the regulatory perspective toward the artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the distributed ledger technology (DLT). In addition, the panel discussed the regulatory implications of the initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto currencies, and the implementation of Block chain in stock markets, as well as cyber security and resiliency and how to face financial crimes.

The third session, entitled “Enhancing governance in the Arab capital markets”, discussed a number of topics especially how to enhance transparency, disclosure, and investors protection and the role of international organizations in this regard, particularly the implementation of the OECD and G20 principles and the challenges faced in MENA region. This panel discussed also the role of regulators in protecting minority shareholders and ways to achieve gender balance in corporate leadership. Speakers also addressed challenges to boost corporate governance in the State-owned enterprises (SOEs).
The fourth session of the conference discussed the issues of insider trading enforcement in emerging markets, and the developments in Arab capital markets, openness to foreign investment, and benefiting from the opportunities it offers. In addition, exit policies, exchange risks, and the importance of facilitating the investments flow between countries wre also addressed. During this session, the speakers discussed also, the gap between the emerging and advanced markets, and the challenges facing the derivatives markets, CCPs and direct markets access (DMA).

The fifth session entitled “Islamic Finance, Collective investment schemes and fixed income instruments” presented the challenges facing Islamic finance in the Arab capital markets, and highlighted the impact of ETFs on liquidity, transparency and market efficiency. It discussed also the required infrastructure for asset managers, brokers and investors, and the role of new FinTech in developing Islamic financial products and CIS in Arab capital markets.

The sixth session discussed the issues of financial inclusion and the role of regulators, professional certification, continuous education and training, professional and ethical standards, and markets analysis in protecting small investors and minority shareholders. This session discussed also the challenges facing regulators efforts towards promoting financial literacy and capacity building.

The Seventh and last session discussed the post-trade transparency, settlement and clearing initiatives and derivatives markets updates especially the covered short selling, lending and borrowing. The implementation of the settlement cycle (T+2), the principle of payment versus delivery (DVP), the CCPs role in Arab markets , and the back-office operations and their role in capital markets ecosystem were also addressed.

On the sidelines of the conference, a memorandum of understanding was signed to exchange expertise and knowledge in the field of arbitration in Islamic finance between the Union of Arab Securities Authorities and the International Islamic Centre for Reconciliation and Arbitration (IICRA). The MOU aims to increase cooperation in the field of self-capacity building, training and consultation on strengthening the Shari'ah-based securities industry. The MoU was signed by the Chairman of Jordan Securities Commission (JSC) / Chairman of the Union of Arab Securities Authorities H.E. Mohammed Saleh Al-Hourani, and Mr. Musa Shehadeh, Board Member of the International Islamic Centre for Reconciliation and Arbitration.


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