Posted on December 07, 2010

Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji) Q.S.C was a leading sponsor of the prestigious Middle East & North Africa M&A, Corporate Finance & Advisory conference held over 2 days this week at the Sharq Hotel in Doha.

Qatar, home to one of the strongest global economies coupled with a strategy to diversify its growth, was a natural venue for this conference. The conference was attended by the region's leading CEOs, CFOs, Treasurers, Finance Directors, Institutional Investors, Fund Managers, Private Equity Houses, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Investment and M&A Market Bankers.

The conference covered a broad range of topics relating to increasing regional and global M&A activity with over 200 delegates in attendance. Mohamed Abdelkhalek, Head, Corporate & Institutional Banking at al Khaliji led a key session on, financing options for acquisitive companies in the current financial climate.

With senior representatives from Qatar’s leading corporate, GCC Sovereign Wealth Funds and Investment Banks the session covered relevant issues relating to acquisition finance and the current market for regional corporates.

Mohamed Abdelkhalek stated, “While industry is still feeling the fallout from the financial crisis, banks are applying conservative lending criteria and asset management policies to build a resilient financial platform required for sustained growth. That said, banks remain open to support acquisition finance transactions where corporates have appropriate capital structure, levels of leverage, cash flow generation capability and a strong shareholder base - these institutions will have more access to capital than others.

Despite the continuing pressures on some of the international banks, the loan markets are open for strong acquisition finance deals as evidenced by the large number of international and regional banks interested in the potential financing for current regional acquisitions.

“al Khaliji remains committed to advising and arranging financial support for its chosen customers within Qatar and the GCC as they grow their business either by acquisition or organically”.

Abdelkhalek continued, “We have seen recent bond issuances from Qatar and other GCC issuers which have been successfully covered and attracted many investors from around the globe. Such success displays high demand for Qatar and GCC risk and provides a platform for additional bond issuance to come to the market during the next couple of years. This issuance will not only be from the government and government related companies but also from private sector companies which are able to secure an investment grade credit rating”.

Paul Maguire, Unit Head, Corporate & Institutional Banking at al Khaliji led the second day as Conference Chairman when topics including Qatar’s developments within the financial services industry and its implications for M&A were discussed, coupled with interactive sessions covering consolidation in the MENA Banking sector and Restructuring and distressed M&A deals with the MENA region.

Maguire commented,” As a wholesale led bank based in Qatar, al Khaliji is committed to deepening its already strong relationships with its existing customers and to fostering new relationships with Corporate and Institutional clients that fit within our defined target market. al Khaliji’s support and participation in this high profile event attended by Regional and International M&A dealmakers is in line with our wholesale strategy and is part of our successful and ambitious growth plans.”

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