DIFC Workshops launched to support development of financial markets in MENA region
DIFC Workshops launched to support development of financial markets in MENA region
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The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) today launched the DIFC Workshops – a series of capacity building workshops that will support the development of financial markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by upgrading technical financial skills among market participants. Dr. Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist of the DIFC, said: “The DIFC Workshops aim to support the development of economic and financial markets in the MENA region by strengthening market participants knowledge of the technical aspects of financial products and services. This is especially important as the DIFC’s regional reach expands and demand for specialist financial services increases”. The first DIFC Workshop, ‘Accounting and Equity Valuation’, will be held on 7 November in association with Citigroup. Led by Kenneth Lee, Director, Valuation and Accounting (Europe) for Citigroup Investment Research, the workshop will enable participants to accurately value listed equities and properly examine balance sheet data. The workshop will include actual company case studies and focus on examples of analysis, accounting and financial markets from the GCC region. Mr. Mohammed Al-Shroogi, Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking Head for the Middle East, said: "We are delighted to be part of this unique initiative and to contribute speakers to the workshop series.  As many of the region’s hubs transform into global financial centres, it is crucial to share global best-practice case studies with the region’s financial players in order to continuously raise the bar and stay at the cutting edge of the financial industry”. Supported by strong economic conditions, capital markets in the MENA region have grown significantly over the past five years. Syndicated loan issuance in the MENA region has grown strongly over the past five years, driven in part by over USD1 trillion of infrastructure projects, according to MEED. Despite recent corrections, the value of equity markets in the region remain high at USD875 billion, while the regional securitisation and asset backed securities (ABS) market is beginning to grow. This primary market growth is being matched by an increase in secondary market volumes and demand for qualified financial services professionals. The DIFC Workshops have been established to help broaden the range of technical skills and talent available to support this demand. “Improving the skill sets available to the market is especially important for new growth areas, such as the region’s securitisation and ABS markets”, said Dr. Saidi. Each workshop will be held in association with a leading financial institution based at the DIFC. They will initially cover topics such as: accounting and equity valuation; derivatives and options pricing; risk management; securitisation; Islamic finance; valuation risk analysis; mutual fund management; hedge funds; investment management techniques, equity and fixed income analysis and investments; asset allocation; technical and quantitative analysis; yield curves and structured finance, among others.


  • The certified Board Secretaries Workshop provided by Hawkamah and Dubai Financial Market is an essential course for learning corporate governance, scope and responsibilities of the board secretary and understanding the governance and disclosure requirements of the Dubai Financial Market and the Securities and Commodities Authority. It is a practical course which combined recent best practices and key learning lessons. I would highly recommend it for people involved in corporate governance and in particular in a listed company.

    Omran Al Zamani - Senior Legal Counsel - Dana Gas PJSC

  • Great program! Very well done and very useful information delivered in an excellent manner. The workshop was very inspirational, energizing, bringing lots of ideas, with both substantial and in-depth knowledge together with case studies. Well-balanced composition of participants, which contributed to interesting and focused discussions and exchanges. I would highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in improving their proficiency and core competencies.

    Hassan Murad Agha - Group Head of Compliance & Internal Control - Gulf General Investment Co. (PSC)

  • All companies should promote their boards, executive managers or staffs who have board responsibilities for subsidiary companies to attend corporate governance training. Hawkamah provides the ability for people and companies in the GCC to upskill in the area of corporate governance and directorship through a comprehensive programme teaching international best practice which has been tailored to regional specific governance issues.

    Alastair Mulligan - VP Asset Management - National Central Cooling Company PJSC (TABREED)

  • I am truly honored to attain this certification and I recommend the Compliance Heads of all DFM listed companies to participate and achieve this certification.

    Nabeel Mirza - Senior Director & MLRO - Compliance - GFH Financial Group B.S.C.

  • The workshop has added a level of professionalism to my practice. It addressed and discussed  the right concepts to promote better governance and effective support for business in line with rules and procedures.

    Osama Issaq Al Haj - Head of Legal & Board Secretary - Dubai Islamic Bank

  • A very interesting and informative course which has helped me to adapt my Board Secretary knowledge further to my role as Company Secretary.

    Hamad Al Hosani - Group Company Secretary - Emirates NDB Bank

  • Anyone who wants to enter the world of boards and governance; this is your passport.

    Jehad A. Kazim - Director - Legal Services Dubai Chamber

  • The Directors Development Program was one of the most beneficial programs I attend during my career life. The strength of the program comes from the way it was structured as each part covered very important aspects of the required management role.

    Nada Ishaq Abdul Karim - Manager - The Secretary of The Board of Directors - Bahrain Islamic Bank BSC

  • The DDP offered by the Hawkamah Institute is an excellent course to prepare directors to understand and fulfil their obligations properly as members of the board. I have benefitted immensely from this program and have started to implement some of the best practices taught on the boards that I am involved in.

    Amir Arab - Director - Havenvest Private Equity Middle East Limited

  • The Director Development Program is great way to gain insight and improved understanding in areas such as corporate governance and board functionality. I would highly recommend the program as a foundational step before they begin their board experience.

    Bindu Ann Joseph - Chief Operating Officer - 3W Networks

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