Recent developments at both the international and national levels - including the globalization of financial markets and the wave of liberalization, deregulation, and privatization- have pushed the issue of financial markets to the forefront of the development agenda. This book, edited by Said El-Naggar, comprises the proceedings of a seminar held in Abu Dhabi in January 1994. It provides a comprehensive analysis of various aspects of capital markets in general and particularly in the Arab countries.
The book aims to unravel the potentials of Middle East financial markets, which are spread over a large and wealthy part of the world. These markets are gradually being opened for international investors seeking diversification and rewarding risk adjusted returns. However, opening up to international investors is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to attract institutional money needed to provide depth and professionalism to these markets. Without a cultural shift towards more transparency, better regulations and governance, and the availability of custody, clearance and equity research, up to international best practice, not much institutional money will be forthcoming to the region. Funding sources in the Middle East and North Africa Region are still predominantly channeled through the banking system, with equity and fixed income markets playing a marginal role. While the world’s financial markets show on average a balanced structure of bank assets, stock market capitalization and debt securities, the capital mix in the region is heavily skewed towards bank assets with a share of 58.8%, equities around 34% and debt securities (bonds and Sukuk) 7.2%. Stock markets of the UAE and Qatar have recently been upgraded to emerging market status, which together with Egypt are the only three Arab countries that have selected listed companies featuring in the Morgan Stanley Capital Index for Emerging Markets (MSCI EM). Saudi Arabia has opened its stock market to direct investment by foreign financial institutions in the second half of 2015. The opening of the Saudi stock market is a major positive development for the region’s capital markets. The path ahead for MENA finance has become now clearer. The relative weight of commercial banks in the financial system will diminish gradually, and a wider range of financial services will be provided by deeper and increasingly more sophisticated debt and equity capital markets, in line with worldwide trends. Sharia compliant products, such as Sukuk, are expected to continue to grow at double-digit rate to meet the strong demand generated regionally and internationally.
A thriving capital market, one that not only brings investment funds into a country but also distributes profits in a transparent manner, is essential for any economy, especially a rapidly developing one such as Saudi Arabia. Already a key player on the world stage, the Kingdom is going through a major planned economic transformation and diversification. In particular, a robust and transparent capital market, with a high level of integrity and sound enforcement, is well on the way to fruition. This book is the first in English to analyse and evaluate the roles of economic planning and a capital market in Saudi Arabia’s economic modernization. In the process of examining the level of transparency and fairness in Saudi Arabia’s capital market, the author provides detailed information and analysis of such issues and topics as the following: – market disclosure rules; – insider trading laws; – gaps in enforcement; – dispute resolution; – role of securities agencies; – Saudi Arabia’s position in international organizations; and – repercussions of the 2006 Saudi stock market collapse. The author draws on a wide range of sources in both English and Arabic, and concludes with well-grounded proposals for appropriate judicial, administrative, and enforcement policies. Investors, their management and attorneys, and other advisors with an eye on trade development in the Middle East will derive great benefit from the current and detailed information in this book. Lawyers and policymakers will discover all they need to know about the Saudi capital market, its developing trends, and applicable laws.
The Arab economy witnessed in the last three decades some developments as expressed by GDP per capita as well as by the human development index. However, such developments are not enough. It's varied, not comprehensive, and not as hoped. It's varied not only between individual states, but also within sectors of economy as well as within segments of the society including women and children. This conclusion is valid to the Arab economy in general as well as to the Arab financial markets and institutions. Accordingly, this book aims to delve into the theme of the financial sector including financial markets and institutions within the context of the Arab economy.
Business & Economics by International Monetary Fund
This volume comprises two separate papers on key structural aspects of the reform process in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The first paper addresses issues related to financial intermediation and reform in the context of the evolving economic environment in the GCC countries. The second discusses the labor market challenges and policy issues in the GCC countries and their implications for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
In this unique text, Mohamed Ramady develops a framework for studying fundamental challenges to the modern Saudi Arabian economy. Public and private sector topics include: - The hydrocarbon and minerals sector, including a new model of mining privatization and cooperation - The impact of small and medium sized businesses - The evolving role of "family" businesses - The growing role of women in the Saudi economy - Shifting trade patterns - The Saudi "offset" technology transfer program The author offers an analysis of key challenges facing the Saudi economy, including the potential costs and benefits of privatization, globalization, and eventual membership in the WTO. Employment, education, economic and social stability, and Saudi Arabia’s place in the Gulf Cooperation Council are offered as keys to the consensus building needed to ensure the Kingdom’s healthy economic future. Mohamed Ramady teaches in the Department of Finance and Economics, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
This paper provides an economic overview of the very diverse countries within the large geographical area. It highlights the economic challenges and opportunities facing the MENA region, the policies pursued by the countries in the region, and the outlook for the external environment. The paper concludes with eight policy recommendations.
The issue of informational efficiency in the evolution of asset prices is examined using data on equity markets in Jordan, Turkey and Pakistan over the period 1986–93. The analysis is carried out in two steps. The parameters of agents’ dynamic consumption and investment decisions are first estimated, and then the implied equity market price, based on market fundamentals, is compared with the actual evolution of equity market prices. While the informational efficiency of each of the three markets is found to be deficient, the causes of market inefficiency are varied. For Jordan it appears that a large negative shock to economic activity in the late 1980s caused agents to discount market fundamentals. For Turkey and Pakistan it is likely that institutional and legal rigidities in equity and banking markets resulted in these markets being illiquid, although this lack of market depth did reduce in severity for Turkey over the sample period, as liberalization of financial markets occurred.