Alhajeri: Strong portfolio and fund management in our markets signifies mature institutional investment for foreign investors


Photos: Mr. Manaf A. Alhajeri, CEO, Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz”.

Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz” announced sponsoring “The Euromoney Kuwait Conference 2018” that will be held on Tuesday, September 25th at Four Seasons Hotel under the theme of “New Kuwait – The Financial Sector Response”. The conference will address the Kuwaiti Government economic vision until 2035, with the aim of analyzing response of the financial sector to the strategy and its impact on the domestic economy. The conference’s keynote speakers will include H.E. Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf, Minister of Finance; Mr. Mohammed Al-Hashel, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait and H.E. Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al Sabah, Director General, Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA).

Mr. Manaf A. Alhajeri, Chief Executive Officer at Markaz will participate in the conference with a keynote interview to discuss the main opportunities and challenges arising amidst the latest developments in Kuwait’s stock markets and the financial services in general.

Mr. Alhajeri stated, “The Euromoney conference comes at a crucial stage, where the financial sector is looking forward to overcome the current challenges facing Kuwait’s aspirations to transform its currently Frontier market to a Developed one, especially now that Kuwait joined the FTSE index for emerging markets, as well as ensuring the sustainability of the liquidity up-swing in Kuwait stock market. The financial services industry also aspires to play a vital role in enabling homegrown global companies and diversifying the assets allocations of family offices in Kuwait to achieve sustainable growth.”

Funds and institutional investment

He added, "Strong domestic investment funds and portfolios represent mature institutional investment environment in the market from the foreign investors’ perspective. They play a key role in improving the environment through its role as a natural and institutional market maker. The asset management sector can play an active role through its funds in attracting investments to all listed companies, especially by companies with experience, knowledge and track record of good performance."

Innovation and diversity of tools and financial solutions

Alhajeri emphasized the importance of enforcing innovation and diversity in financial instruments and solutions as well as supporting the investment funds industry to encourage innovation in financial products and services, which is key to achieving the desired progress. Therefore, since its establishment in 1974, Markaz has continuously innovated within the market and pioneered many investment products, opening new investment gates that meet investors' requirements. In addition, Markaz has executed many investment banking deals in the region worth $4.03 billion in equity, bond, M&A, restructuring and other advisory services.

Infrastructure projects and the financial sector in Kuwait

Alhajeri added, “High government spending on state infrastructure projects can contribute to new opportunities for investment banking institutions in Kuwait. Our economy is largely reliant on government spending and capital expenditure on infrastructure projects that are mainly executed by international contractors as opposed to involving local Engineering, Procurement and Construction companies (EPC). A new approach that involves the private sector is required based on the country’s development needs, such as public-private partnership projects, and only by adopting this can Kuwait transition successfully to emerging markets and eventually developed markets. Financial institutions in Kuwait face challenges related to the deal flow of infrastructure projects. Firstly, the size of projects that are coming to the market are relatively small to attract foreign investors. Secondly, given the complexity of the projects, the implementation process timelines tend to extend over years and progress can be uncertain especially during periods of oil price volatility. At times, Kuwaiti stakeholders tend to assign greater importance to the international community rather than the local participants who also have a key role to play. Without the local commitment to projects, overall funding would be negatively impacted as foreign capital funding is closely and understandably linked to Kuwaiti investment appetite.

About Markaz sponsorship, he said, “Markaz is committed to the development of the financial sector in Kuwait by exchange knowledge and views with financial experts locally, regionally and internationally. Thus, Markaz sponsored Euromoney conference in its 10th edition, which includes a number of prominent figures from the economic and financial fields in the public and private sectors.”

It is worth mentioning that many government institutions and reputable financial companies from the private sector will participate in the conference through interviews and interactive panels. The conference will shed light on a number of crucial economic topics such as Kuwait’s macro-economic outlook, expanding revenues, consolidating and focusing spending, funding deficits and financing capital expenditure, enhancing the private sector’s role in the economy, the impact of Fintech and Blockchain on the financial services in Kuwait and how private capital can be deployed in Kuwait infrastructure projects such as transport, trade, energy, electricity and water.

About Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz”

Established in 1974, Kuwait Financial Centre K.P.S.C “Markaz” is one of the leading asset management and investment banking institutions in the Region with total assets under management of over KD 1.02 billion as of 30 June 2018 (USD 3.37 billion). Markaz was listed on the Boursa Kuwait in 1997.

For further information, please contact:
Alrazi Y. Al-Budaiwi
Media & Communications Department

Kuwait Financial Centre K.P.S.C. "Markaz"

Tel: +965 2224 8000

Fax: +965 2246 7264

Email: [email protected]