Kuwait Financial Centre S.A.K. “Markaz”, one of the leading investment banking and asset management companies in the Middle East, participated as a platinum sponsor in the 3rd Annual Charter Award Ceremony recently held by CFA Institute – Kuwait, at The Gulf University of Science and Technology. Mr. Hamad Al Marzouq Chairman of Kuwait Banking Association was the Chief Guest and presented the charters.
The event, which was attended by CFA holders and CEOs from leading institutions in Kuwait, featured a Technical Presentation on Global Market Outlook presented by Mr. V. Anantha Nageshwaran, Chief Investment Officer at Bank Julius Bear (Singapore).
Mr. Manaf Alhajeri Chief Executive Officer at Markaz, who was a key speaker in the event, congratulated the CFA graduates and said, “The objective of the CFA as it is an institution concerned in economical affairs lays beyond training but to extend and influence the policy-making and to provide scientific solutions not in theories but in a more simple and easy to apply language. As a gateway to the deep knowledge of financial matters the financial sector is a gateway to many forms of funding as it varies depending on investor appetite for risk, time horizons and investment policies.”
On the financial sector Alhajeri said, “The financial sector remains despite the challenges an active, vital and the focus of attention of observers. The sector is a major source of financing major projects and institutions through its ability to develop and manage multiple financing instruments through stocks, bonds mezzanine.” He also added, “Our local culture depend on dialogue and openness in facing challenges, and by that we must recognize the existence of anomalies in our local economy. Most importantly the standard of monetary surpluses in comparison to our shallow markets and the strong financial position of the state with many distressed companies.”
Concerning the development plan Alhajeri highlighted, “In order for development plan to reach the desired results, there must be a clear policy to support the operational and solvent financial institutions, especially after many notable steps of screening performed by the monitoring agencies in the country.”
He also encouraged the banking sector to take a more active role in the upcoming projects and that they should be supplemented by alternative funding sources such as bonds, sukuks, and mezzanine funding in a manner that optimizes the economic outcomes of such projects. These alternative funding instruments are more suitable for large scale projects than bank financing, because they take in to account the degree of risk for projects and their time line, restrictions, and more importantly it can take into account the specific factors of some major development projects. Alhajeri added an active bond market can help free up the lending capacity of local banks which will be re-deployed to healthy operating companies with access to growth opportunities.
There was also an exhibition featuring all the main sponsors, where “Markaz” team was present, and answered queries and provided information about the company, its products and services.
CFA Institute, the leading professional institution recognized by investment analysts worldwide, announced the establishment of the CFA Kuwait chapter in August 2008, the seventh in the Middle East and 136th globally.
The economic institutions must be involved in the formulation of economic policies and the new reforms and extends to construct policies for the economy, financial sector and overall reform, through offering practical solutions that are applicable and based on the experiences of successful development in the world.
The Development plan will not bear fruit unless it highlights a clear policy for the financial system, both banks and alternative financing.
Alternative financial sector, or financial companies can be a gateway to variety of pattern of funding such as bonds, sukok, and mezzanine.
Organizing and supporting the bond market to reduce the cost of borrowing.
There must be an encouraging environment to create a professional investment culture to establish institutions who will keep pace with global development. We propose three new institutions:
- The Institution of Economic Policies.
- Integrated statistics and data center.
- The Institution of human skills development it will be a partnership between both the private sector and the public sector especially in the areas of economic reform, development projects, and constructing financial and economical policies.
About Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz”
Kuwait Financial Centre 'Markaz', with total assets under management of over KD1.03 billion as of September 30, 2010, was established in 1974 has become one of the leading asset management and investment banking institutions in the Arabian Gulf Region. Markaz was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) in 1997.