KUWAIT: Boursa Kuwait concluded its successful participation in the Arab Federation of Capital Markets (AFCM) annual conference entitled, "AFCM Annual Conference: Bahrain 2022", which was held in the Kingdom of Bahrain, on March 28 and 29, 2022.

Regarded as the largest event for stock exchanges and capital markets in the Middle East, the AFCM annual conference is a distinguished platform that gathers leaders from across the Arab securities industry, to exchange ideas and visions on the most suitable means to provide key opportunities and the ideal environment to promote the growth of the Arabian capital market ecosystem, in addition to enhancing integration and liquidity among exchanges across the region. The conference seeks to bring the interests of the Arab capital markets to life on all levels, boosting cooperation and coordinating efforts to ultimately enhance liquidity and motivate companies to register, list and trade, in an effort to develop and enhance the region's capital markets.

The event's agenda included 19 discussion panels and 95 speakers, shedding light on various topics related to the capital markets as well as their efforts and operations throughout the past year. Key topics included sustainability, environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, listed index funds, real estate codes, green financing, regulatory technology, bilateral netting, and the development of market data and their sale.

Easing procedures

During the conference, the heads of the GCC's stock exchanges discussed possible ways to ease procedures for double listed companies as well as launching joint platforms to benefit all asset classes. Conference attendees also discussed the means of exchanging knowledge and expertise and enhancing collaboration as well as the opportunities to market listed companies across the region to investors, particularly foreign investors, to benefit the respective economies of GCC member states. The heads of the region's exchanges also discussed easing the account opening procedures for investors through the "Know Your Client" platform and introducing joint products in an effort to create a better sense of cohesion for all the region's capital markets.

Commenting on Boursa Kuwait's participation in this regional event, Boursa Kuwait's Chief Executive Officer, Mohammad Saud Al-Osaimi, said: "Boursa Kuwait is keen to participate in the annual conference of the Arab Federation of Capital Markets, especially since Kuwait is one of the founders of this Federation. As part of its efforts to raise the status of the company and strengthen its position in the region as well as internationally, Boursa Kuwait is constantly striving to enhance the ways and methods of cooperation among the Arab capital markets."

Al-Osaimi added, "Apart from the specific agenda set for this conference, we took the opportunity to use this event as a platform to ease procedures for our investors and raise awareness of corporate days and roadshows to include other exchanges from across the Gulf. We also sought to encourage companies to get listed across multiple exchanges in the region and introduce joint GCC products and services to serve both issuers and investors, regardless of asset class."

A launchpad

Commenting on the event, Sheikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Bourse said: "Bahrain Bourse is proud to be hosting this year's annual AFCM conference, which represents a launchpad to address key issues regarding regional stock exchanges and capital markets. We recognize the vital role the Bahrain Bourse plays in providing a stable and transparent environment, and the importance of promoting a transparent investment environment for all Arab capital markets. This event offered the ideal forum for the region's leaders to exchange ideas and expertise in the hopes of witnessing the desired results come to life."

Secretary General of Arab Federation of Capital Markets Rami El Dokany also commented on the event, saying, "We were pleased to organize this year's AFCM Conference in the Kingdom of Bahrain and bring together our colleagues and partners from across the capital markets industry. The AFCM is an opportunity to create a transparent and developed environment for the Arab capital markets, and encourage further cooperation and communication between the Federation's members.

The AFCM is consisted of 21 members representing 17 exchanges and four clearing companies as well as multiple affiliate members, such as financial institutions and brokerage firms, from across the Arab region. By the end of 2021, more than 1,570 corporations were listed across all Arabian stock exchanges with a combined capital of $3.8 trillion.

Boursa Kuwait's involvement in international and trade events falls in line with the company's efforts to reinforce its position as a leading exchange operator in the capital markets. The company also aims to gain expertise, build knowledge, and promote the Kuwaiti capital market through its various participations in conferences and events.

Since its inception, the company has strived to develop a strong financial market with high liquidity and credibility through the implementation of a range of structural and technical developments and initiatives that will enhance the position of the exchange, regionally and globally. Boursa Kuwait continues to implement many steps in accordance with international practices and standards to transform Kuwait into a regional and global investment destination, by focusing on creating an attractive issuer base and broadening its investor base, increasing the depth and breadth of its products, as well as upgrading its infrastructure and business environment to international standards.