The Union of Arab Securities Authorities (UASA) Board approved the 16th annual report and financial statements for the year 2021 during its annual meeting held on 11/05/2022.
The report presents the most important activities of the members in market regulation and oversight, enforcement, awareness, international cooperation, market development, financial technology, and financial inclusion. The report also included the most prominent work accomplished by the Union and its work plan for 2022, in addition to a set of issues of interest to Arab securities authorities, especially with regards to strengthening aspects of cooperation and coordination among the Union members.
The annual report indicates that the General Secretariat, within the framework of the pillar of strengthening cooperation among the members of the Union in the field of developing capital markets and facing risks, in cooperation with the working group formed for this purpose, has prepared a survey that covered various aspects related to the development of Arab capital markets, and it was distributed to the members of the Union and the responses were received and analysed in preparation to complete this work. It is important to note here that the work team is currently collecting the initiatives and legislations applied by the members of the Union in the areas of ways to confront market risks and support liquidity, in preparation for the development of a guideline on the priorities of the members to assess and confront the challenges caused by global crises of various forms. The working group is also working on setting a general guideline related to combating money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as setting general rules related to the best standards applied in the field of sustainability. In addition, the working group is doing on submitting proposals for "crowd-funding" guidelines.
With regards to financial technology and cyber risks, the working group formed for this purpose completed the analysis of the results of the survey that had been prepared and distributed to the members of the Union. The survey provided important information about the financial technology sector among the members of the Union. Within this framework, the working group compiles legislation and regulatory frameworks related to financial technology and cyber security applied to provide them to the members of the Union, as well as areas of artificial intelligence and e-learning, as well as setting general guidelines to enhance cyber security for members of the Union. The working group is also preparing proposals for defining the regulatory procedures and requirements related to Know Your Customer (KYC) in preparation for a guideline that serves this matter.
The UASA, within the framework of the UASA’s strategic plan 2021-2025 objectives, implemented a number of specialized training programs in line with the requirements and training needs of the Union members to contribute in the development of self-regulatory capacities and enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory authorities in various areas. The training programs specifically targeted the human cadres working in the regulatory authorities at different levels of employment, especially those working in regulatory and supervision aspects of capital markets institutions. Some programs also targeted other entities operating in the capital markets, including exchanges, depository and settlement centres, brokerage firms, listed companies, banks, financial institutions, and other entities related to the capital markets.
With regards to achieving harmony and consistency in regulations of the Union members, the work groups of the UASA continued to work on the initiatives of the UASA’s strategic plan for the years 2021-2025, which included various areas including developing capital markets, facing risks, supporting liquidity and sustainability, financial technology, cyber risks, investor education and awareness, and enhancing financial inclusion.
The annual report of the Union also showed that global markets continued during 2021 to recover from the effects caused by the outbreak of the Corona virus, which led to the decline of financial markets to low levels not seen in decades. Despite this, unprecedented financial support programs and access to effective vaccines to confront the virus were able to help financial markets return to the rise and achieve record growth rates that exceeded the levels they had reached before the outbreak of the virus. The year 2021 witnessed a clear growth that was reflected in the indicators of global markets significantly, as the data issued by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) indicate that the international financial markets have achieved significant increases in the total market value of the global financial markets, reaching 124.6 trillion dollars, compared to 106.8 trillion dollars in 2020, an increase of 16.7%. The American markets accounted for 46.1% of the total global market value, followed by the Asian and Pacific markets with 31.6%, and the European and Middle Eastern markets with 22.3%.
As for the Arab financial markets, the market value of these markets increased at the end of 2021 compared to the levels achieved in 2020, reaching about (3.6) trillion dollars, an increase of 16.1%. The market value of the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) constituted about 73% of the total the market value of the Arab financial markets as a whole, which amounted to 2.5 trillion dollars at the end of 2021.
The 16th annual report is available in Arabic and English via the following links: