Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance, organised its 2nd Corporate Governance Forum for 2016, in collaboration with the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). The conference brought together key industry members to share their views on the latest trends in Corporate Governance regulation and enforcement.
Dr. Ashraf Gamal El Din, Chief Executive Officer of Hawkamah, explained in his welcome speech that Corporate Governance is at the heart of corporate sustainability and that companies must be aware that governance is not only about regulation and compliance, but it offers the company an important competitive advantage over its rivals. This fact has been proven by the Hawkamah S&P ESG Index, which showed that shares of listed companies in 11 markets of the MENA region perform better if those companies adhere to rules of Corporate Governance. Therefore, companies must move beyond mere “box ticking” practice, and instead focus their efforts on the genuine application of Corporate Governance.
Fahima Al Bastaki, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Development Division, DFM said: “Dubai Financial Market is delighted to host this important event for Hawkamah Institute. DFM is closely cooperating with Hawkamah as part of its endeavor to promote international best practices of Corporate Governance. This Forum is the starting point for a stronger relation with Hawkamah Institute to accomplish the objectives of the recently signed strategic partnership agreement aiming at further enhancing the implementation of Corporate Governance amongst listed companies. There is a growing recognition amongst businesses and listed companies in particular, of the vital role of Corporate Governance in achieving growth, enhancing efficiency and increasing investors’ confidence, which greatly attract international investment institutions. We look forward for further joint efforts to promote best practices and encourage companies’ expansion in embracing Corporate Governance and Investor Relations.”
HE Dr. Obaid Al Zaabi, Acting CEO of the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority, SCA, described the current Corporate Governance regulations for listed companies in the UAE. In his speech, he noted that the UAE regulations match those in the well developed markets and they are among the best regulations in the region. His presentation focused on the latest governance issues such as gender parity, shareholder rights, transparency and internal audit systems. Dr. Zaabi explained that SCA’s main role is to make sure that the UAE enjoys strong markets and strong companies that are able to compete globally.
In the subsequent panel session, experts representing investors and investor relations professionals emphasised that governance cannot be separated from investor relations and investment decisions. Investors look at governance when making their investment decisions and good governance protects the rights of shareholders.