Sunday, 30 September 2012

CISI Founders Series Event : The new Silk Route

October 8, 2012 at 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
America Square Conference Centre

This event requires registration:

Silk Invest was founded in the midst of the developed market`s credit crisis in 2008 to provide institutional investors with access to investment opportunities across Africa, the Middle East and Frontier Asia. These frontier markets are undergoing a period of rapid industrialization and are largely unaffected by the debt overhang in Europe and the US. Silk Invest has six funds that focus on the opportunities presented through economic convergence in what us being termed the new Silk Route. This is driven by people and institutions covering half of the world’s future population areas. It believes the ‘consumer’ story in this region is even more compelling that the more widely recognized commodity story. Daniel Broby was lucky to be one of the first members of the CISI when it was formed from the London Stock Exchange 20 years ago and is also now a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde University Department of Accounting and Finance. Daniel Broby aims to provide an overview of what he believes is Silk Invest's unique perspective on consumer-related opportunities across public equity, fixed income and private equity. Venue America Square Conference Centre 1 America Square London EC3N 2LB

Friday, 24 February 2012

Bloomber hosts frontier conference in Doha.

Bloomberg Doha Conference
April 16th - 17th, 2012

The Ritz Carlton West Bay Lagoon Doha, Qatar
Please note that the program is subject to change.
DAY 1 Monday, April 16th, 2012

8:30 am
SPECIAL ADDRESS BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCEH. E. Yousef Hussain Kamal, Minister of Economy and Finance, State of Qatar
8:50 am
SPECIAL ADDRESS BY THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF QFCAAbdulrahman Ahmad Al-Shaibi, Managing Director and Board Member, Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA); Director of Finance, Qatar Petroleum Group
9:10 am
9:40 am
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONNemir Kirdar, Founder, Executive Chairman and CEO, Investcorp
10:00 am
PRIVATE EQUITY: A CHANGING LANDSCAPEPrior to 2000 most PE activity occurred in Egypt due to the favorable regulatory environment, strong macroeconomic fundamentals and privatization activities in the country. Since then PE activity across the ME has grown exponentially. The wealth amassed by oil producing nations has provided funding to many local PE funds. The ability of ME based firms to tap into the region’s business networks is where their strength lies. The global financial has indeed impacted PE in the Middle East prompting it to re invent itself. What do recent events mean for deal restructuring? What are the tax and regulatory environment like? Which sectors to invest in? Who is investing in emerging and frontier markets? Can you deploy money safely and how? We will also look at partnerships between local groups and international funds.Confirmed Speakers:Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Capital Pvt. JSCAdditional Speakers to be AnnouncedInterviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
10:40 am
THE MIDDLE EAST: TRANSFERRING FROM AN OIL BASED ECONOMYThe drive to build a sustainable, non-oil-based economy is a common goal amongst the Middle Eastern economies. Diversifying is vital to the continued success of the region. Many Middle East Countries are moving to develop “knowledge-based” economies. Higher education, particularly in technical areas, and innovation are seen as key to making the transition to a varied economy. Despite referring to the Middle East, it is important to recognize that each country has substantial differences and therefore developing strengths in key areas. Some of these include Qatar’s education drive coupled with its massive programme of construction and development ahead of the world cup. Oman is focusing on infrastructure and stimulus, whilst Abu Dhabi has its growth vision for 2030. Confirmed Speakers:Brad Bourland, Chief Economist. Research Department, Jadwa Investment Co.Interviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
11:10 am
REGULATION IN QATARCompliance rules and regulations necessary to do business in Qatar. A look at the process which encourages efficiency and transparency for firms conducting business in the country.Speakers to be Announced
11:40 am
BANKING 2012 We will look at the changing face of investment banking globally following the turbulent last few years. Revenues across the board including the Middle East have tumbled and been compounded by the region’s political upheaval. What does this mean for banks looking to pursue deals in the region? We will look at M&A activity along with a growing reluctance of companies to pay fees for banking advisory services. This has led to a trend in relocating senior bankers back to Europe, the US and Asia. Despite this restructuring, the region still remains better placed that many other areas and continues to generate new opportunities.Confirmed Speakers:Philippe Jouard, Founder and CEO, Concordia Capital LLCTimothy R.M. Main, Senior Advisor, Evercore Partners Inc.Additional Speakers to be AnnouncedInterviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
12:20 pm
THE POWER OF THE GCCAmidst the global financial crisis the GCC group of countries provides an arena to invest successfully in various sectors including real estate and bonds. We will look at Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Abu Dhabi as we investigate the allure of the world’s largest oil exporter and home to the greatest reserves of natural gas. What are the opportunities for foreign direct investment?Confirmed Speakers:Abdullattif Al-Meer, Managing Director, QInvestFarah Foustok, CEO and CIO, ING Investment Management Middle EastPaul Gamble, Head of Research, Jadwa InvestmentInterviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
1:00 pm
2:15 pm
2:20 pm
ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEWWilbur L. Ross, Jr., Chairman and CEO, WL Ross & Co. LLCInterviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
2:50 pm
ASSET MANGEMENT: THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRYWhat are the challenges facing asset managers?Confirmed Speakers:Todd J. Cassler, Senior Managing Director, Head of Institutional Sales, John Hancock Funds, LLCV. Shankar, Group Executive Director and CEO - Europe, Middle East, Africa & Americas, Standard Chartered BankChristian Thwaites, President and CEO, Sentinel InvestmentsInterviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
3:30 pm
ISLAMIC FINANCEGlobal sales of sukuk jumped 52 percent to $26.5 billion in 2011 from 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. There appears to be a growing appetite for Islamic Finance across the Arab world and beyond. Amidst changing Governments, countries like Egypt and Morocco may indeed turn to Islamic Finance.The difficulty surrounding Shariah compliant finance continues as companies like Goldman Sachs struggle with compliance laws, highlighting the need for increased standards and rules that apply globally. Despite these challenges, the appeal if Islamic finance looks to be enduring as Saudi Arabia debuts its first sale of Islamic Bonds.Confirmed Speakers:Emad Mansour, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar First Investment Bank (QIB)Additional Speakers to be AnnouncedInterviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
4:10 pm
POLITICAL RISK IN THE REGION AND BEYONDThe wave of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa has had major impacts on the risks of doing business in the region whilst also providing an array of new opportunities. Banks, businesses and insurance companies have re priced political risk in these emerging markets. Oil prices also reacted rapidly with prices rising above $100 per barrel and natural gas supplies were severely disrupted.There are also fears that the opportunities thought possible by the Arab Spring maybe turning into a state of instability?The mix of instability and political vacuums has also paved the way for the wealthy regional states and outside investors to capitalize on the remains of revolution. We take a look at due diligence and which sectors hold the least risk? We will also take a look at equity, bond and foreign direct investment strategies amidst the current turmoil.Confirmed Speakers:Daniel Broby, Chief Investment Officer, Silk Invest LtdJeffrey Woodruff, Senior Director, Energy, Utilities & Regulation, Fitch RatingsAdditional Speakers to be AnnouncedInterviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
4:50 pm
TAKEAWAYS: WHAT WE HEARD TODAYBloomberg journalists and experts summarize the key points from the day’s sessions.
5:00 pm
7:00 pm
8:00 pm
10:00 pm
DAY 2 Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
8:30 am
9:00 am
9:10 am
QATAR 2022; HOW THE WORLD CUP WILL TRANSFORM THE REGION AND A LOOK AT EDUCATION ENDEAVORS IN THE QATARQatar plans $100 billion in infrastructure projects in the run-up to its hosting the 2022 World Cup.Confirmed Speakers:Amer Al Adhadh, Advisor for Private Sector & Enterprise Development, PPP Directorate, Ministry of Business & Trade, State of QatarAdditional Speakers to be AnnouncedInterviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
10:15 am
REAL ESTATETopics to be discussed:-Emerging market investment: where are the opportunities?-Zell’s take on countries in: Middle East (Abu Dahbi, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Qatar); Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Columbia); and Asia (India, China, Mongolia)-Zell’s strategy in entering investments in emerging markets-The impact of the global financial turmoil on opportunities and risksSam Zell, Chairman, Equity Group Investments, L.L.C.Interviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
10:45 am
11:15 am
WHERE IS THE SMART MONEY GOINGWhat lessons on monetary union are provided for the Gulf Cooperation Council by the crisis in the euro area? As current account surpluses in the region move back toward pre-crisis levels will pressure increase on the GCC countries to adopt more flexible exchange rate regimes? What effects - transmitted through the currency pegs - have quantitative easing in the U.S. had on the region? Confirmed Speakers:Mark Brown, Managing Director, Head of BNRI, Barclays CapitalDavid W. Rolley, Co-Head of Global Fixed Income, Loomis Sayles & Company. L.P.Patrick M. Thomson, Managing Director and Global Head of Sovereigns, J.P. Morgan Asset ManagementInterviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
12:00 pm
AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ: FINDING OPPORTUNITY IN THE AFTERMATHWhat happens to an economy when the troops leave? A hearty group of investors are plunging into Iraq and Afghanistan to seize on opportunities they see in countries upended by wars over the past decade. The panel will explore the strategy and tactics of true frontier investing, seeking to understand how risk and reward manifest themselves in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.Confirmed Speakers:Bartle Bull, Partner, Head of Public Securities, Northern Gulf PartnersDick Keil, Advisor to Paul Brinkley, Deputy Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Defense Additional Speaker to be AnnouncedInterviewed by:Bloomberg News Journalist
12:45 pm
TAKEAWAYS: WHAT WE HEARD TODAYBloomberg journalists and experts summarize the key points from the day’s sessions.
1:00 pm
2:00 pm
5:00 pm

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Sudan stock exchange goes electronic

FEATURE-Khartoum bourse woos foreign funds with electronic trade

Wed Jan 4, 2012 9:00am EST
* New computer system to be launched this month
* Plans eventually to introduce commodities trade
* Aims to attract investment from Gulf
* But liquidity, trading hours, custody are obstacles
* Shahamas may remain more attractive for many

By Ulf Laessing (Reuters article)
KHARTOUM, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Glancing at stock market prices scribbled in columns on large white boards, Sudanese broker Maha Abdul-Rahim hopes a new electronic trading system will bring more money to the Khartoum Stock Exchange.

The bourse plans to launch a computer-based trading system next week, ending the practice of having brokers write share price offers on boards -- if a deal is reached, a bourse employee crosses out the numbers and prints out a paper to be signed by buyer and seller.

"The new system will achieve more transparency. You will know the identity of sellers," said Abdul-Rahim, while signing papers after the daily one-hour trading session.

In manual trade, brokers often agree informally on a share sale with buyers and sellers before they come to the small trading room on the 11th floor of a commercial building and offer their shares. Stock market officials hope a more transparent electronic trading system will attract foreign investors from centres such as Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

"Cross-listings will be easier, as will access," said General Manager Osman Hamad Khair, ushering a visitor into the new trading room as technicians made final tests before launch on Sunday.

The bourse is tiny, with a total market value of around 6.4 billion Sudanese pounds ($2.1 billion). That compares with about $350 billion for the Saudi Arabian stock market, the biggest Arab bourse.

In a second expansion step, the Khartoum bourse, which was launched in 1995, also wants to establish trading platforms for gold and other minerals and Sudan's main agricultural export products, such as gum arabic and maize. Khair gave no time frame.

The launch of the electronic system has been delayed for more than a year, which officials blame on a U.S. trade embargo complicating technology imports. U.S. sanctions were imposed over a decade ago amid charges that Sudan sponsored terrorism.

Sudan hopes the electronic system will attract enough investment to help overcome the economic crisis caused by the secession of South Sudan in July, which deprived Sudan of most of its oil production. Annual inflation hit 19 percent in November, while the Sudanese pound has fallen against the dollar on the black market as oil revenues have dried up.

Most Western firms shun Sudan because of insurgencies in three parts of the vast African country, tensions with South Sudan, and the U.S. sanctions. So China and Arab countries are the country's main trading partners.

Khair said the bourse was preparing to sign more cooperation agreements with Arab stock exchanges such as Qatar to allow cross-listings of stocks and technical assistance. Such deals already exist with Abu Dhabi and Oman; among the small number of cross-listed stocks are telecommunications firm Sudatel , also listed in Abu Dhabi, and Al Salam Bank Sudan, also listed in Dubai.

Currently, foreign portfolio investment in Sudan focuses on short-term Islamic bonds, so-called shahamas, which are sold by the central bank on behalf of the government to fund its budget -- desperate for cash, it offers a yield of almost 20 percent. No precise data exists but officials say foreign investors account for up to 30 percent of purchases of shahamas.

"There are some foreign investors from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia," said broker Abdul-Rahim. "They mostly buy shahamas....I think the economy and currency need to stabilise for more foreigners to come."

British fund manager Silk Invest, which focuses on emerging and frontier markets around the world, says it is considering investment in Sudanese stocks, though limited liquidity and trading hours as well as concern over custody of securities are challenges.

"We have Sudatel and Sudanese Free Zones & Markets on our radar screen, but as yet have made no investments in Sudan," said Chief Investment Officer Daniel Broby.

"The latter, a sharia-compliant duty free zone, is exposed to a number of areas that we see as growing strongly in the country, namely consumer goods, readymade clothes, toys, perfumes and cosmetics."

The biggest obstacle is the lack of liquidity of most stocks. In the first week of December, only 22 share deals were done worth a total of 523,354 pounds, compared to 112 shahama deals worth 44.74 million pounds, according to official data.

The Khartoum stock exchange's benchmark share index is almost unchanged compared to a year ago. Many shares do not trade for weeks, or longer. The stock of Animal Resources Bank, a large local bank, has not moved for two years, said a bourse official, pointing to a white board.
"Stocks are often not easy to sell. There was big interest in Sudani until 2006 when they paid high dividends. Now they are investing a lot and the stock has fallen and there is not much interest any more," Abdul-Rahim said.

"Most people buy shahamas because they are guaranteed by the central bank."
Even with the launch of the electronic system, bourse officials and bankers say more will be needed to improve transparency. For example, the bourse wants ownership of the market to move from the finance ministry to an independent board, but a new securities bill is still waiting for government and parliamentary approval, Khair said.
"Regulations are still from 1994," he said.

Few of the more than 50 listed firms have investor relations departments, and corporate earnings data often ends up in newspapers or with brokers before being published on the bourse's website.

Khaled Zada, head of treasury and foreign relations at Bank of Khartoum, one of the heavyweight stocks listed on the bourse, said the new trading system was only a first step.
"They need more regulation, more solid companies, more specific enforcements."