The Arab Federation of Exchanges (AFE) held its General Assembly meeting today, 15 July 2020, chaired by Dr. Mohamed Farid Saleh, Chairman of the Arab Federation of Exchanges and Executive Chairman of The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) with the honorary presence of H.E. Ahmed Aboul-Ghiet, Secretary General of Arab League. The meeting was held electronically, in line with the precautionary measures adopted globally to prevent the spread of the pandemic corona-virus.
Dr. Ahmed Aboul-Ghiet, Secretary General of the Arab League, delivered a keynote speech highlighting the importance of strengthening cooperation between Arab countries in light of the rapid and successive developments facing the world at all levels, particularly the economic level. He expressed his appreciation for the AFE’s efforts in harmonizing the regulations of Arab stock exchanges to strengthen the Arab investment base and expand and diversify its tools.
He added; “The Arab League is ready to provide all support needed to the Arab Federation of Exchanges to perform its role in this regards,” stressing that stock exchanges play a key role in supporting the goals of economic and social development plans worldwide.
H.E. Ahmed Aboul-Ghiet, called for more integration through the participation with the The Higher Coordination Committee for Joint Arab Action and the Forum of Specialized Arab Associations.
Dr. Mohammed Farid, Chairman of the Federation of Arab Exchanges (AFE) and Executive Chairman of The Egyptian Exchange (EGX), said that AFE’s strategy was based on several axes, mainly, seeking to have a stable path on the long term through the formulation of policies and solutions that contribute to the development of its business and activities. As well as developing a permanent platform for exchange of views between all relevant parties.
Farid said that the leaders of the Arab stock exchanges showed great flexibility in dealing with the global markets’ turmoil after the Corona pandemic, where the crises revealed the strength and solidity of these Arab capital markets that carried on trading in a stable manner. He added that the Federation is working to coordinate initially with all exchanges to discuss the possibility of developing financial technology systems applied in stock exchanges, especially the KYC which will facilitate the investment of any Arab individual in any securities listed on all Arab stock exchange.
He highlighted the efforts and activities carried out by the Federation, which included the development of a new AFE strategy to attract new members, as well as the design of policies that contribute significantly to the creation of sustainable sources of revenue. Efforts also included amending the Chapter of the federation to include permanent quality committees in its structure, as well as the creation of five new working committees, namely the Audit and Governance Committee, the Financial Technology and Innovation Committee, the Sustainability Committee, the Financial Institutions Committee and the Financial Markets Rules Development Committee.
For his part, Rami Al-Dokany, Secretary-General of the Arab Federation of Exchanges (AFE) said during his speech that he worked with the Board of Directors to change and modify the chapter of the Federation and to reshape its functional elements in a way that contributes to facilitating and activating the decision-making process within the Federation.
Al-Dokany revealed the most significant developments in the Federation, including the significant leap in the total market value of Arab stock exchanges to reach $3.1 trillion in 2019 compared to $1.1 trillion in 2018, as well as the rise in the number of companies listed to 1,662 companies with a total of 15 IPOs in 2019.
He added, “we are all involved in developing several files that will contribute to strengthening the role of Arab capital markets to play a greater role not only in contributing to the provision of financing but also in helping individuals benefit from investment,” and exerting efforts in attracting new companies to list.
The Arab Federation of Exchanges was established in June 1978 to be the guiding body for the Arab stock exchanges, under the recommendation of the Arab Central Banks Conference, with four members with the aim of creating a transparent environment for the Arab capital markets, develop market members and reduce the barriers of security trading across the countries through establishing harmony across the laws and regulations of the Arab countries, adopting new technologies and advanced trading and clearing settlements.
The Federation currently comprises the membership of 21 institution representing 17 securities and commodities exchanges and 4 Central securities depository companies, in addition to affiliate members of the Arab region. Number of listed companies reached 1,662 companies with a capital of $3.1 trillion by the end of 2019.