Senior executives of prominent companies based in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) took part in the first of a series of ground-breaking seminars titled “Access Capital for Growth”, hosted by Jafza and NASDAQ Dubai that examined various ways for them to access the capital markets.
Jeff Singer, Chief Executive Officer of NASDAQ Dubai, and a panel of other capital markets experts briefed the executives on a wide range of equity and debt capital-raising solutions, ranging from an initial public offering (IPO) to private equity and bank loans.
The executives represented companies in sectors including trading, metals, materials, food, electronics, energy and power. Issues covered included the cost of capital and company valuation, winning the confidence of lenders and investors through transparency and sound management, and how owners of a company can maintain control over its future direction.
The seminar was opened by Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO, Jafza and Chief Commercial Officer, as one of a series of initiatives under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Jafza and NASDAQ Dubai in April 2011. The MoU aims at identifying Jafza companies that wish to raise capital to expand and develop, including through a listing on the region’s international exchange, and provide them necessary information and support.
The panel of experts comprised Azhar Zafar, CEO of Ernst & Young Corporate Finance, Andrew Tarbuck, a partner at international law firm Latham & Watkins LLP, Karim Schoeib, Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at SHUAA Capital psc, and Saqib Rashid, Principal of private equity firm Riyada Enterprise Development, a member of the Abraaj Group. Hussein Hachem, Chief Executive, Middle East & Africa, Aramex, addressed the seminar and shared Aramex's experience as a listed company, stressing the importance of transparency and reputation. Aramex was the first company from the region to be listed on the NASDAQ in the period 1997 to 2002, and today is a publicly traded company on the Dubai Financial Market.
Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi said: “By bringing together some of the leading financial experts in Dubai with some of the most prominent companies in Jafza, the seminar produced a host of valuable and creative ideas on how different companies can raise money in different ways that suit their particular needs and ambitions. We will continue to support the growth plans of Jafza companies through further outreach sessions with NASDAQ Dubai, in line with the development objectives of Jafza, Dubai and the UAE.”
Jeff Singer, Chief Executive Officer of NASDAQ Dubai, said: “The seminar provided a rewarding forum for NASDAQ Dubai and the panelists to hear the opinions and needs of prominent Jafza companies first-hand, as they seek more capital in an economic environment that still presents many challenges. As the region’s international exchange, NASDAQ Dubai is committed to offering a first-class listing forum. This includes excellent access by regional and international investors through DFM’s trading platform, to which more than 500,000 individual investors are connected, and the possibility of a book-building IPO to give an accurate valuation. We look forward to organizing many other successful initiatives with Jafza and to further developing our relationships with Jafza companies.”