Several of the world's leading voices in the mortgage sector are set to gather in Bahrain for the first ever mortgage summit in the region, according to R Lakshmanan, CEO of Bahrain-based Sakana Holistic Housing Solutions.
He confirmed that a cast of global experts will address more than 100 regional and international companies from the real estate, banking and finance sectors over two days at the upcoming GCC Mortgage Summit (June 2-3 2010).
"The Summit comes at a timely juncture. The region's freehold real estate sector, as with most world markets, has experienced a painful time. However, the GCC's fledging industry has an opportunity to reinvent itself. This can be done with the benefit of hindsight, and with a renewed sense of how to best structure home ownership in the region."
Lakshmanan said that the mortgage sector must drive this from ground level and play a prominent role in cultivating a healthy sector based on new-world best-practices. "We are bringing decades of collective experience to the table for a straight talk on what to do, but more importantly, the what not to do," he said.
Premal Patel, Executive Director, Veritas Events agreed that the Summit is timely. "The GCC economy is poised for development with the real estate sector is positioned as a catalyst of this growth.
"It is both the right time and the right place for a forum that focuses on the fundamentals of the mortgage sector - the lynchpin for a successful, sustainable freehold market."
Patel said that it is fitting that the Kingdom plays host to the Summit. He shared that the plenary speech will be delivered by Khalid Hamad, Executive Director – Banking Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain. Another key regional speaker is Khalid Al Aboodi, GM & CEO of Saudi Arabia's Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector – ICD.
Meanwhile, the international speaker line up includes India's Renu Sud Karnad, Managing Director of HDFC and the UK's Mungo Dunnet, Chairman, Mungo Dunnet Associates.
Dunnet, considered an international mortgage market expert, is set to present insight on the factors leading to the global crisis. "The GCC can look at the world and see first-hand where it went terribly wrong. This is an unprecedented opportunity and must not be missed."
Karnad is set to share her insight in running a successful mortgage business and Khalid Al Aboodi will be speaking about relevance of mortgages to the Islamic world.
Other notable speakers include Sameer Abdi from Ernst & Young, Adil Taqi, General Manager-Investment at DAMAC Holding, Jonathan Fothergill, a valuations expert with Cluttons in the UAE, Gopi Rao, General Manager of Solidarity General Takaful and Richard Arlove, CEO and Director of Abax Group.
Arlove will address the importance of corporate governance and compliance. "The recurrent problems of large scale frauds and loss of trust can be prevented by good corporate governance and strict compliance.
He said that the need of governance is more crucial in current financial and economic scenario and will help catapult the growth of a sound mortgage sector.
Meanwhile, Rao added that there is ample scope for Takaful and insurance coverage to grow with the mortgage sector. In 2008, the global Takaful market was estimated to be a $2.3bn, with the Middle East region accounting for 46 per cent of total sales.
Lakshmanan confirmed that the summit will also offer an opportunity for mortgage providers to redefine their products and marketing strategies.
"Global research organisation TNS will present an exclusive commissioned research on consumer needs," he advised. The TNS research will be presented by Satish Dave, Senior Director, TNS Finance Sector, Middle East & Africa.
The Summit will run for two days (June 2-3 2010) in Bahrain. It is expected to attract more than 100 firms from across GCC including real estate developers, mortgage providers, real estate service providers and other organisations that provide support such as insurance companies, legal and research.
The summit sponsors include DAMAC, Oracle Developers, Ernst & Young, Ithmaar Bank, Manara Developments, 3i Infotech, KPMG, Solidarity, and TNS.