National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) in cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) Secretariat General and the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) are organizing the 8th GCC Banking Conference entitled ‘Managing Growth and Risk in an Era of Openness’ on May 22-23 at the Sheraton Hotel. The conference is being held under the auspices of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
The conference has been divided into five sessions over a two day period. “Issues of strategic importance will be discussed at the conference; there will be a meeting of the Governors from the region as well on the final day of the conference,” explained Isam Al Sager, NBK Deputy CEO.
The conference will begin with the welcome address by Naser Al-Sayer Vice Chairman NBK. Speech on behalf of His Highness the Prime Minister will be read by Central Bank Governor His Excellency Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah. Speech on behalf of His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah Secretary General of GCC Secretariat will be read by Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Kaoud, Director of Finance and Monetary Integration GCC General Secretariat.
The first session of the conference will debate on the ‘Opportunities and Challenges for the GCC Banking Industry. The session will be presided over by Gazi Abdul Jawad CEO Arab Banking Corporation Kingdom of Bahrain. The session’s speakers will be Abdulkareem Abu Al-Nasser CEO National Commercial Bank Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Razzak Ali Issa CEO Bank Muscat, Sultanate of Oman and Michel Madelain Group Managing Director Moody’s Investor Services.
The second session of the conference will tackle the challenges being faced by the GCC Equities Market in the region. The session has been titled ‘GCC Equity Markets: Prospects and Challenges’ and this session will be chaired by Dr. Khaled Al-Fayaz, CEO Gulf International Bank, Kingdom of Bahrain. The session’s speakers will be Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Khalaf Board Member Capital Markets Authority, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr.Georges Makhoul President Middle East and North Africa, Morgan Stanley, DIFC, United Arab Emirates and Shaikha Al-Bahar Group General Manager Corporate Banking NBK.
The third and the final session for the first day of the conference will be held early evening. The session titled ‘Economic and Financial Developments in the GCC’ will be presided over by Issam Al-Sagar Deputy CEO, NBK. The session’s speakers are all high profiled economists in the region. Abdulaziz Al-Uwaishiqi, Director of Studies and Economic Integration, GCC Central Secretariat, Dr. Said Al-Shaikh Chief Economist, National Commercial Bank Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Brad Bouriand Chief Economist SAMBA, Kingdom of Bahrain and Randa Azar Chief Economist NBK.
The second day of the conference has been divided into two sessions. His Excellency Ambassador Robert Zoellick Vice Chairman Goldman Sachs will be delivering the keynote address, after which the conference will open for the scheduled sessions.
The fourth session will discuss the ‘Impact of Basel II Compliance on the GCC Banking Sector’. The session will be chaired by Dr. Nabil Al-Mannaie, Vice Governor of CBK. The session’s speakers are: Chrely Rathbun, Director EMEA Basel II Implementation Citigroup. Yousuf Al-Nemeh Assistant General Manager, International Banking Services, Qatar National Bank, Dr. Mohammed Yousuf Al-Hashel Manager Offsite Supervision Department CBK and William Coen Deputy Secretary General of Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Bank for International Settlements.
The last and final session of the two day conference will see the Governors of the Central Banks of the Gulf countries and the officials of the Monetary Authorities in the GCC have a high powered discussion. All Central Bank Governors are due in Kuwait.
In 1992, NBK had hosted the 7th GCC Banking Conference. NBK stands out in Kuwait and among Arab Banks in terms of its local and international network which includes branches, subsidiaries and representative offices in New York, London, Paris, Geneva, Lebanon, Amman, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, UAE, Singapore, Vietnam and Shanghai, with other ambitious plans for regional and global expansion. NBK reported profits of USD 22 million for the first quarter of 2007, among the highest in Arab world.