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MENA region capital market leaders gather to promote sustainable finance

For the event programme, list of speakers, click here.

(Dubai, 26 October 2016) Stock exchange CEOs from Egypt, Jordan, and Qatar met today with capital market regulators from Morocco, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates at the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) regional dialogue held in Dubai as part of the UNEP FI Global Roundtable 2016. The capital market leaders gathered to discuss the challenges, opportunities and priorities related to sustainable finance. A growing number of stock exchanges and capital market regulator are placing greater emphasis on the promotion of good corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices.

“Sustainable stock exchanges play an important role in persuading listed companies to act responsibly” said Dr. Ashraf Gamal El Din, CEO of Hawkamah and moderator of the event. “The Hawkamah-S&P Pan-Arab ESG index shows that ROI is at least 50% higher when investing in responsible companies. Stock exchanges need to promote responsible business conduct: it makes business sense!”

“Capital Markets have a critical role to play to ensure an effective and rapid transformation of our economies towards more sustainable and more resilient development trajectories, by enabling the reallocation of capital towards sustainable growth, climate-resilient investments and innovation,” said Ms. Nezha Hayat, President of the Capital Market Authority of Morocco. “The Moroccan Capital Markets in particular, and the Moroccan financial system at large, are determined to carry the required transformation, being already engaged in the Sustainable Development Global Agenda and the climate transition following the Paris Agreement. The upcoming COP22 to be held in Marrakech this November should be a great venue to further the exchange of concrete actions towards such transformation.”

“SSE initiative has made big steps towards promoting sustainability worldwide and we as exchanges are required to capitalize further on these steps by facing global and regional challenges with more collaborative and dedicated work.” said Dr. Mohammed Omran, CEO of the Egyptian Exchange. “We have the chance to seize market opportunities and customize regulations to promote efficient sustainable financial markets.”

“Sustainable financial markets are essential for economic stability, including the elimination of poverty which is sustainable development goal number one,” said Fiona Reynolds, Managing Director, the PRI.  “Stock exchanges worldwide have a vital role to play by ensuring that companies listing on their exchanges are being transparent in their practices and looking at environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. For exchanges in emerging markets, this can translate into improved liquidity and new market opportunities.”

The event took place as part of the United Nations Environmental Programme Financial Initiative (UNEP-FI) 2016 Global Roundtable. There are 7 SSE Partner Exchanges within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. For a full list of SSE Partner Exchanges, click here. For more information on the Dubai Regional Dialogue, please click here and for more information on the UNEP-FI Roundtable click here.