Bahrain Bourse Hosts Bell Ringing Ceremony for the 2nd Consecutive Year as part of its Commitment towards UN’s Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative

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Bahrain Bourse Hosts Bell Ringing Ceremony for the 2nd Consecutive Year as part of its Commitment towards UN’s Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative

As part of its active role in promoting gender equality and empowering women in the capital markets sector, Bahrain Bourse hosted a bell ringing ceremony in parallel with the celebration of International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March 2020 for the second consecutive year. H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al-Maraj, the Governor of the Central Bank rang the market-opening bell in the presence of Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Bourse, Sh. Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa and Narjes Farookh Jamal, Chief Operating Officer rang alongside Bahrain Bourse’s senior management.

On her part, Narjes Farookh Jamal, Chief Operating Officer commented: “As industry setters, we are hosting a variety of ring the bell events in order for all stakeholders to take action in achieving the goals of gender equality. Across listed companies on Bahrain Bourse, we currently have 2% female board representation and 7% females in CEO positions compared to 16.9% and 4.4% respectively on a global level. As a stock exchange, we are working alongside listed companies and industry professionals to take practical action in advancing gender equality through voluntary guidance documents, internal policies, training, mentoring, raising awareness, and educating market participants on gender equality and the role of gender diversity in enhancing business performance.”

“We aim to reinforce the importance of the role of females in executive and board positions across the capital markets, going in line with our efforts in promoting sustainability, in which ‘gender equality’ falls under the ‘social’ angle of sustainabilty. Recent statistics show that the representation of female investors at Bahrain Bourse reached 29%, and the value of shares held by females is currently BD580 million, and total volume of shares held be female investors were 711 million shares.” Narjes added.

Bahrain Bourse has joined 81 other global exchanges to mark the occasion over a week of bell-ringing activities for the second consecutive year, in partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, the World Federation of Exchanges, IFC, UN Global Compact, UN Women to help raise awareness and highlight opportunities for the capital market ecosystem to advance gender equality and sustainable development. The event is being held for the 6th consecutive year globally. This year, the UN’s International Women Day is themed ‘I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.

Held throughout March, these bell-ringing events aim to raise awareness on women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development. As part of the events, participants are encouraged to make commitments to improve gender equality in their markets, improving diversity in senior management and on the boards of directors, or improving transparency on gender policies and practices.

It is noteworthy that Bahrain Bourse has announced in 2019 its voluntary commitment towards the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative in promoting sustainable and transparent capital markets. The SSE initiative focuses on sustainable disclosure of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

Bahrain Clear aims to offer various digital solutions including the Virtual AGM management service to listed companies within its efforts to provide added-value services, as this innovative service aims at facilitating the accessibility to investors and enhancing participation in AGMs via virtual platforms. The Virtual AGM management service has been offered based on the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism’s resolution (No. 26 for the year 2020) and based on the Central Bank of Bahrain’s circular (OG/108/2020) issued on 19 March 2020.

The Virtual AGM management service has been provided as a result of Bahrain Clear & Bahrain Bourse’s vision to undertake various precautionary measures in line with the current international health scenario and activation of business continuity management to fully support investors and issuers and all related stakeholders.

It is worth to mention that Bahrain Bourse announced the temporary closure of its trading floor to the public as a preventative measure as of 19 March 2020 until further notice.

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