UASA’s 11th Annual Meeting
The eleventh annual meeting of the UASA’s Board took place in Tunisia on Thursday 16th of March 2017. The Board discussed the annual report of 2016 and the suggested work plan for 2017 in addition to a number of other issues related to Arab Capital Markets, especially with regards to enhancing cooperation and coordination among them, and the UASA’s strategic plan for the next 5 years. The UASA’s financial statements was also approved during the meeting along with the appointment of the external auditor whom will take charge of UASA’s accounts for the next three years. It is worth mentioning that the tenth annual meeting of the UASA was held in Cairo on the 3rd of March 2016, EFSA chaired the presidency of the Union at its tenth session where the Capital Market Authority of Tunisia (CMF) chairs the presidency of the Union’s eleventh session.
The opening session started with the speeches of the host country presented by Salih Al Sayel, Chairman of the Capital Market Authority of Tunisia (CMF), and the speech of the Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, Chezli Al-Ayari. This was followed by the speech of Sherif Sami, Chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, and the UASA’s Secretary General, Jalil Tarif. During the session, the former Secretary-General of the UASA, Abdullah Salem Al-Turaifi, was honored for his efforts in establishing the Union. The current UASA Chairman was also honored by the President of the Tunisian CMF for the efforts he exerted during the period of his presidency. The Secretary General of the Arab Federation of Exchanges attended the opening session. On the sidelines of the session, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Capital Market Authority of Tunisia and the Qatar Financial Markets Authority and another memorandum of understanding was signed between the Capital Market Authority of Oman and the Capital Markets Authority of Lebanon.
The meeting reviewed the study prepared by the working group assigned by the members of the Union on tender offering, where the UASA board commended the efforts exerted in the preparation of the study and decided to adopt the main guidelines regarding tender offering in the Arab capital markets. The main guidelines of the study aim at establishing transparency and fairness allowing securities owners of target securities to receive the information and the necessary time to evaluate the offers. This will help them make investment decisions, taking into consideration the equality and equal opportunities between securities owners of target securities, as well as among the persons involved in the offer. This guideline also aims at facing market manipulation of the securities price of the target company, avoiding price fluctuations, conflicts of interest, and the use of insider information, taking into consideration the interests of the target company and protecting the rights of minority shareholders.
The meeting also reviewed the study of corporate governance of listed companies in the Arab capital markets prepared by the working group assigned by the UASA members for this purpose. The Board also commended the efforts exerted in the preparation of the study and decided to adopt the guideline of corporate governance of listed companies and get it translated into English language and upload it on the UASA’s website. It is worth mentioning that the Corporate Governance Guideline for Listed Companies in the Arab capital markets has included guidelines for the company’s general assembly rights of shareholders, boards of directors, and committees of the Board. The guideline also includes rules for institutional investors, stock exchanges, intermediary of financial institutions, disclosure and transparency, internal oversight, external auditor, and avoiding conflicts of interest.
The Board also discussed during the meeting the green capital markets and recent developments in this area. The President of the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) presented the Moroccan experience in this field. A number of the UASA members also presented their experiences in this field. In this regard, the Board adopted the general guidelines and practical steps related to fostering green capital markets, especially with regards to encouraging the transformation of the Arab capital markets into green markets. This transformation will help attract environment friendly investments and encourage UASA members initiatives related to fostering environment friendly financial instruments and building the knowledge and educational capacity in this regard. The Board also stressed on the importance of finding the necessary mechanisms to activate supply and demand forces on green financial instruments, creating a mechanism for exchanging information and knowledge, cooperation and coordination among UASA’s member and encouraging disclosure of green capital markets.