BMG Financial Group hosted its BMG Summer Financial and Family Business Forum in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. This interactive forum, which was managed by the Institutional Investor Group, focused on the imminent opening of the Saudi Arabian stock market to foreign institutional investors. The Forum brought together international investors and Saudi Arabia’s financial policy makers and business leaders to a private setting for one-on-one engagement.
BMG Financial Group elected to use this year’s forum as an opportunity to introduce the CEOs & CFOs of listed Saudi companies with their counterparts in the buy-side global funds business, and, in particular, emerging funds managers who have been anticipating access to the Saudi market. Mr. Basil Al Ghalayini welcomed the delegates, including HRH Prince Mansour Bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and highlighted the timely importance of such a forum in view of the imminent entry of global investors into the Saudi bourse. The forum then got underway with a panel discussion, led by former Oil Minster Advisor Dr. Mohammed Al-Sabban and Senior Political Advisor Mr. Hussain Shobokshi, who discussed the role and impact of Oil and Geopolitics in the region. This was followed by the keynote speech, delivered by Mr. Imad Abdulkader, Director of Marketing at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), who highlighted the promising investment climate of Saudi Arabia. Attendees then heard a speech by Mr. Mazin Al- Sudairi, Head of Research at Al-Istithmar Capital, on on an overview on the Saudi Stock Market, before & after. A second panel, on The impact of Global Institutional Investors in stabilizing the Saudi Stock Market was led by Mr. Mutlaq H. Al-Morished, CEO of National Industrialization Co. (Tasnee); Mr. Machaal Karam, CEO of United Cooperative Assurance Co. (UCA); and Mr. Bassel Khatoun, CIO of MENA Equity at Franklin Templeton Investments. This discussion covered two vital Saudi sectors, namely petrochemical and insurance, both of which are going through restructuring and consolidation, consequently attracting investors. The forum also featured an exclusive interview with Mr. Anirudh Khatri, Sr. Investment Director of Cambridge Associates, on the global outlook for private equity investors. His interview provided insight into the new opportunities and challenges facing both investors and business leaders in the Kingdom. The Institutional Investor team, led by Charles Floyd, conducted further interviews to debate the positive impact of access to global institutional investors, in comparison to day-traders, given their interest in family business stocks is, generally, longer term. Providing their viewpoints were Mr. Ali AliReza, Head of Haj Hussein Ali Reza Co. and Mr. Amr Zedan, Managing Partner of Zedan Group. The debate ranged from the pros and cons of going public, to whether, impact of opening the Saudi stock market to global investors will increase the appetite for family business to go public.