March 29, 2015
The Economic Development Board (EDB) co-hosted The 4th Euromoney GCC Financial Forum, which was held in the Kingdom in February. The event attracted participation from over 500 financial services professionals from the region, and discussed key topics such as the corporate governance of the financial sector and the oil prices.
The forum hosted key speakers including His Excellency Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj the Governor of Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB); Dr. Jarmo Kotilaine, Chief Economist, EDB and Mr. Richard Banks, Euromoney Director of Emerging Markets.
HE Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj participated in an open Town Hall session where questions were posed by the audience and live on Twitter. He addressed the issues of bonus regulation for senior bankers, the policy of the CBB towards systemic risk and the impact of digitisation on banking.
During his key note address, Dr. Kotilaine stressed the role of the long term reforms that Bahrain has put in place over the preceding decades in putting the Kingdom in a strong place to address the challenges that the region faces today. He linked this to the growing strength of the non-oil sector growth drivers which include: Robust population growth; the changing makeup of the economy; the greater integration of the GCC in global trade and tourism flows; and, the development of the regional financial services sector.
Keynote interviewees on Day 1 included Abdul Razak Al Qassim, CEO of NBB; Abdulkarim Bucheery, CEO BBK, and Dr. Ahmed Al Mutawa, Chairman GFH. There were also three panel sessions on the Macro-Mini Regional Picture, Private Capital and Public Projects, and Regional Finance in the Global Marketplace.
Sessions on the last day covered key drivers of the financial and investment industry in Bahrain, the role of SMEs in creating a sustainable economic growth and private capital impact in the economic development.
The second day of the forum featured keynote interviews with Mr. Mahmood Al Kooheji, CEO of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company; Shaikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, CEO of Bahrain Bourse and Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, CE of Nogaholding, The Oil and Gas Holding Company B.S.C.
To coincide with the event, The EDB hosted media representing renowned international publications specialising in financial news, as part of its efforts to promote investment opportunities in the Kingdom and shedding the light on Bahrain’s status as one of the region’s leading financial centres. The journalists represent high profile international publications including Funds Global MENA, Euromoney Institutional Investor, and Gulf Business.
This year the forum was supported by the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB), Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) and The Oil and Gas Holding Company (nogaholding), Gulf Finance House, as Islamic Banking Partner, Bahrain Bourse, Mumtalakat and Bahrain Development Bank as co-sponsors, Tamkeen as the strategic Partner; Baker & McKenzie and CITI as exhibitors; BNP Paribas and Sico Investment Bank and Standard Chartered as supporting organisations.
The media partners include: Arab Banking and Finance.com, Bahrain Association of Banks, Daily News Egypt, Gulf States News (GSN), Sovereign Wealth Centre and The Gulf magazine.
Euromoney is the world’s leading organiser of conferences for cross-border investment and capital markets for portfolio and direct investors, financial intermediaries, corporations’ governments,’ banks and financial institutions. Since the late 1970s, Euromoney Conferences has run events in more than 60 countries.