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October 30 – 12:05 – Dubai – Under the patronage and presence of H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, the first day of the ConFEAS 2018 conference commenced this morning. Hosted by Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) in collaboration with The Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS). The two-day conference (29-30 October) is themed around ’Augmented Reality of Trading and Settlement Ecosystems.
Rashed Al Blooshi, Chief Executive of ADX, said the aim of this conference is to create a better understanding of developments in stock markets on a regional and global level, especially in light of FinTech developments. FinTech is reshaping various business sectors, and radically changing the way companies operate and interact with investors, specifically within stock markets, and their trading and post-trading processes.
Commenting on the business climate in Abu Dhabi, Rashed Al Blooshi said: “Abu Dhabi has made significant achievements in enhancing its position as an ideal business and innovation destination. The Emirate has strengthened its position in the Global Financial Centres index (GFCI) regionally and globally, ranking 26th in the world, outperforming advanced financial centres such as Geneva and Seoul. Abu Dhabi also ranked second on the Ipsos Top Cities 2017 list. These results are a testament to the Emirate’s progress on several levels, particularly, the attractiveness of its business environment, the evolution of its infrastructure and the quality of its financial sector. ”
On ADX, Al Blooshi said: “We continue to work alongside all government entities in Abu Dhabi to contribute to the objectives of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 towards promoting and supporting the notion of a knowledge-based economy, as well as strengthening the national economy and sustainable development efforts in the Emirate. ADX was the first stock market in the MENA region to adopt block-chain technology in its services through e-voting for listed companies’ AGMs. The Exchange also serves as a member of the ISSA CSD Working Group which works on further developing the implementation of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) post-trade operations, as well as capital market transactions.”
The conference opened with a panel discussion moderated by Peter Gomber, Professor at Frankfurt University, with Andreas Gustaffson, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of NASDAQ Europe; Dan Kuhnel of the Association of National Numbering Agencies and Dr. Nikolaos Porfiris, Chief Business Development Officer of the Athens Stock Exchange. During the session the panellists discussed the changes due to the regulation of financial markets or MiFid II – the latest phase in the EU project to harmonise and expand the activities of European capital markets to cover bonds and other investment instruments.
The second panel discussed the crypto ecosystem and the activities and regulations of Crypto markets and Crypto future. The session was moderated by Henry Bergström, Business Development Advisor at ADX and was co-chaired by Hirander Misra, Chairman of GMEX Technologies and CEO of GMEX Group, alongside panellists James Martin, General Manager of EMEA Nasdaq; Simon O’Brien, Associate Director – Market Infrastructure and Products at Abu Dhabi Global Markets and Dr. Michael Völter of Boerse Stuttgart.
The third panel centred on Capital market development and their supportive regulations. It was moderated by Jalil Tarif, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Securities Commissions, along with the participation of Konstantin Saroyan, Secretary General of FEAS; Sami Saliba, Executive Board Member of the Capital Markets Authority in Lebanon; Robert H. Singletary, Member of the Board of the National Bank of Georgia and Dr. Mounther Barakat, Senior Capital Markets Advisor in the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority.
The panel discussion on Gulf markets was moderated by Dr. Fadi Khalaf Secretary General of the Arab Federation of Exchanges, with panellists Ahmad Al Marhoon, the Director General of the Muscat Securities Market; Rashed Al Blooshi, Chief Executive of ADX and economic expert Wadah Al Taha UAE Advisory Board Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.
Al Blooshi also pointed to ADX’s efforts in developing a range of products and services that are attractive to investors. The Exchange has automated more than 85% of its services and made use of FinTech services to upgrade trading and post-trading systems in line with the best standards of governance, transparency and disclosure. Al Blooshi said: “The number of institutional investors in the market reached 8099 by the end of October 25, 75% of which are foreign investment institutions, while the net institutional investment for the same period reached AED 1.6 billion and net foreign investment reached AED 1.1 billion.”
Deputy Coordinator, SSE Initiative of UNCTAD, Tiffany Grabski, delivered a speech on sustainable Stock Exchange practices and frameworks, which was followed by a speech by Patrick L Yang on Future FinTech. Yang also moderated the panel discussion on how FinTech can support distribution and investment inclusion. Panellists included Mohamed Farid Saleh, Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange; Igor Marich, Managing Director of Money and Derivatives Markets of the Moscow Exchange; Rami El-Dokany, Co-founder and CEO of Pride Capital and Tore Kalvinberg, CEO of Baymarkets AS.