The Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) has participated in a meeting of heads of securities regulators of member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). H.E. Abdullah Al-Turifi, SCA's Chief Executive Officer, headed the SCA delegation at the meeting, which was held in Kuwait.
The meeting discussed a number of issues, including a UAE proposal on the restructuring of financial control systems and other proposals on integration of GCC member states' securities markets and unifying their capital market policies and regulations.
The meeting also discussed the latest developments on GCC securities markets, proposals on setting up a center to monitor the securities markets, signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) among GCC regulators and organizing of annual forum or conference under the sponsorship of member states of the GCC securities regulators.
Other issues of discussions at the meeting include a review of the working plan and deadline given every working group, including the Registration, Listing and Disclosure Rules Working Group and the IPO and Subscriptions Working Group, to complete the task assigned them.
The SCA delegation include Dr. Obaid Al-Za'abi, SCA Advisor on Research and Director of the Department of Studies and Development and Abdul Lateef Al-Shamsi, Director of the Legal Affairs Department.
A committee of the heads of GCC Securities Regulators will make recommendations on the proposals it has approved and refer them to the Ministerial Committee of the heads of boards of directors of GCC Market Regulators.
The meeting discussed a UAE proposal on restructuring of financial market supervision systems. The proposal, which was prepared in line with the directives of H.E. Engineer Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansoori, Minister of Economy and SCA Board Chairman, calls for setting up of a team to study the reality of securities regulators of GCC member states, monitor the changes taking place on the international scene in the area of market supervision, study the proposed structures and see if they will be compatible with the special characteristics of GCC member states, suggest the appropriate organization structure which matches with the current local and international developments, taking into consideration the ongoing changes and developments in legislation systems at the international level to better organize the supervision of financial sectors battered by the negative impacts of the global financial crisis. The committee recommended that the UAE presents a detailed paper on the issue which shall be tabled for discussion during the next meeting of the committee scheduled for April next year in the UAE.
The meeting reviewed a project presented by the SCA on "Unified GCC Regulation for Listing of Stocks on Securities Market". The project consists of 12 articles on areas of application of the project, listing rules, application for listing, looking into application for consideration, suspension and cancellation of listing. Discussions on the project has been deferred to the next meeting, which will take into consideration Saudi Arabian observations on the project.
The meeting also discussed a proposal which calls for organizing of annual forum or conference under the sponsorship of the GCC Securities Regulators. According to the proposal a subject matter of concern to the legislative and supervisory bodies of securities markets of member states shall be tabled for discussion every year, although that would be optional and based on the wish of member countries. The UAE expressed the desire to organize a forum on "Restructuring of Supervision Systems", at a time to be determined later between the SCA and the GCC Secretariat.
In addition to the above, the meeting also reviewed another proposal by the Kuwait Stock Exchange calling for the setting up of a monitoring center for securities markets of GCC member countries and mechanism for the establishment of such a center, which must take into serious consideration the interest of GCC investors. The committee is of the view that such a proposal must fall in line with the task and objectives of the permanent ministerial committee, made up of heads of boards of directors of securities regulators of member states. The committee also believes in the need to conduct research in the near future on the feasibility of setting up a resource centre on securities markets in GCC states.
The meeting also discussed another proposal from Qatar Financial Market Authority on draft MoU among GCC securities regulators to further strengthen relations among them, provide a unified framework of cooperation, uplift the standards of common understanding and break barriers in the area of securities investment among securities markets of member countries. The meeting agreed that all members shall present their legal and technical observations on the subject matter to the GCC Secretariat by the end of November 2010, for onward referral to the next meeting of the committee, but such observations must take into consideration international practices and the IOSCO MoU.
The committee endorsed the minutes of the first and second meetings of two working teams – the Registration, Listing and Disclosure Rules Working Team and the IPO and Subscriptions Working Team – It also endorsed the recommendations, working plan and timetable contained in the minutes.
It's worth noting here that the ministerial committee meeting held in Riyadh last April discussed, among other issues, ways to achieve integration among securities regulators of GCC member countries and to unify securities markets policies and regulations.
During its 30th summit, the GCC Supreme Council also tasked the concerned ministerial committees to draw up the necessary mechanisms to activate "Article 5" of the Economic Agreement on boosting investment environment among GCC member states. Paragraph 3 of the Article calls for integration of GCC securities markets and unifying of capital market policies and regulations of GCC member countries.
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