Posted on May 08, 2011

Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji) Q.S.C sponsored the First Financial Thought Leaders Summit that took place in Doha between the 4th and 5th of May 2011.

Billed as ‘the Davos of Financial Thought Leaders’, the two day summit brought together an invited audience of financial, banking and government decision makers to outline thinking and vision relating to Qatar and the region’s future economic progress.  Under the theme “Providing Value through Thought Leadership” the summit’s agenda focused on the four pillars of the corporate L.I.F.E.: Leadership, Investor Relations, Financial Strategies and Economic Outlook.

Commenting on al khaliji sponsorship, Robin McCall, Acting Chief Executive Officer said: “The support of the First Financial Thought Leadership Summit provided a platform to promote the exchange and sharing of innovative ideas and knowledge between financial leaders – this with the aim of contributing towards collaborative strategies and making better decisions that will lead to increased, sustainable regional growth. It is evident that current circumstances are not without their risks, remaining somewhat volatile in an increasingly challenging global economic environment. The regional fundamentals, however, remain favourable and markets are still competitive despite the manifestation of global inflation and interest rate pressures. The State of Qatar has been resilient to the global crises by effectively following principles of liberalisation and modernisation of its economy as it builds on Qatar’s 2030 National Vision under the astute leadership of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar.

He further added, “At al khaliji we believe that all our executives should be strategic “thought leaders” basing all decisions on a foundation of regional experience and technical expertise. This Summit has effectively addressed challenges that will pave the way for the continued economic success of the region.”

al khaliji Group Chief Financial Officer, Christiaan de Beer, reflected during a Panel discussion on the current state of the global affairs and advised that regional cooperation was the key to overcome the hurdles:

“It is as if 2008 ushered in a new era. First, financial shocks imploded wealth and trust globally, then regulatory responses and financial aftershocks, followed by more financial crises in the Eurozone that spilled over into regime changes throughout 2009 and 2010. We hoped for 2011 to be less capricious to heal some of the wounds. However, instead of calming down, volatility is increasing again.  This shows that the world and the ideas that we lived by previously, are no longer relevant today.  More than ever, we are in need of direction from wise leaders, and continued co-operation amongst the GCC states.”

In his Project Finance presentation, al khaliji’s Unit Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking Mian Ehsanullah, encouraged the early identification and management of Project Finance risks for cross-functional efficiencies and self reliance. In his presentation he provided an overview on project financing following the economic crises. He also presented to the audience the opportunities for project financing in Qatar and GCC, and addressed key success factors in addition to topics of concern for financial institutions.

The Head of Investor Relations, Charbel Cordahi, addressed the investor relations landscape that is changing following the global crisis, as IR is becoming increasingly important not only for listed companies, but also for private companies looking to develop their shareholder base and raise equity or debt capital and for governments aiming to access capital markets and strengthen their relationships with lenders. Cordahi also emphasised on the importance for Qatar to join the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which will lead to an increase in the flow of capital, enhance the development of economic sectors and raise economic output.

This is the first summit for Financial Thought Leaders held in Doha that gathered the largest number of executives and financial decision-makers from all sectors.