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CFA Institute Set To Host Its First Middle East Investment Conference in Doha

Results of second annual CFA Institute Middle East Survey of charterholders and members based in the region announced

Doha, Qatar 21 Mar 2012

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, is finalizing preparations for its third Middle East Investment Conference, which this year will be held in Doha for the first time on 25th and 26th March. Sponsored by the QFC and QFBA (Platinum) and the Qatar National Bank (Gold), it is anticipated that around 65 delegates — comprising senior portfolio managers, analysts, chief investment officers, chief executive officers, investment advisers, pension plan investment officers, education professionals, and other senior financial consultants — will attend the conference.

Ahead of the conference, CFA Institute has also published its second annual CFA Institute Middle East Survey which gauges the thoughts and opinions on a number of key challenges, issues, and trends currently facing investment markets across the region. The sample response comprised a diverse range of its charterholders and members belonging to eight different national societies, including Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Summary of 2012 CFA Middle East Survey results (117 responses from senior investment professionals based across the region):

  • On the increase in 2012: The majority of respondents believe that diversification of investments, fiscal policy, demand for new sukuks, and bonds and oil prices, will continue to increase throughout the year
  • On the decrease in 2012: The majority of respondents believe that liquidity, real estate prices, and levels of trust will continue to decline this year
  • 75% of respondents believe transparency, increased regulation, and improved financial reporting are top issues in building trust back into Middle East financial markets
  • 76% believe that Arab Spring will further decrease confidence in regional markets over next 12 months. However, 66% believe that confidence will return over the next three years
  • 74% do not believe that the eurozone will break up in 2012

The conference will again bring to the Middle East some of the most renowned investment leaders and thinkers from around the world, who will examine challenges and opportunities that face the global financial industry and the implications for investors in region. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Marc Faber, Managing Director, Marc Faber Limited, Editor: "Gloom, Boom and Doom Report"
    Investing in Periods of High Volatility 
  • Henry Azzam, Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa region for Deutsche Bank 
    The Changing Economic and Political Landscape of the Arab Region
  • George T. Abed, Senior Counsellor and Director for Africa and the Middle East at the Institute of International Finance, Inc 
    Midway through the Transition: Risks and Opportunities in the MENA Economies 
  • Michael O'Sullivan, Head of Portfolio Strategy and Thematic Research at Credit Suisse
    Economics of the Arab Spring: Lessons from the Past and Ideas for the Future
  • Richard Dallas, Managing Director of private equity at Gulf Capital
    Evaluating Private Equity Investment Opportunities in the Middle East
  • Claude B. Erb, CFA, Commodity Portfolio Manager and a member of the multi strategy fixed-income committee at TCW 
    Investing in Commodities
  • Pippa Malmgren, President and Founder of the Canonbury Group and Principalis Asset Management
    Geopolitical Factors for Investors
  • Abdul Rahman al-Najjar, Deputy CEO, Ezdan Real Estate Co
    Opportunities in Real Estate Investing: Focus on Qatar
  • Narayan Y. Naik, Professor of Finance and Director of the Hedge Fund Centre at London Business School (2001-2011) 
    Hedge Funds: Past, Present and Future?

Speaking ahead of the conference, Mr. Nitin Mehta, CFA, Managing Director, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, CFA Institute, said: “Much has changed since our last conference in Abu Dhabi in March 2011. Whilst the global recession and the escalating sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone continue to have a knock on effect around the region, the Arab Spring has also undermined market confidence and contributed to financial uncertainty. However, some things haven’t changed and it is clear that the majority of our charterholders and members believe that financial stability and economic growth will eventually return, and this suggests our core principles of good corporate governance, strong ethics and ongoing professional education are the best way forward. Whether this will happen in 2012 is not clear but essentially the investment community remains optimistic about the future of this region.”

He added: “We have an interesting and diverse selection of speakers attending the conference. This is a great opportunity for our delegates to network with each other and to hear from some of the best economic and financial minds in the region and from around the world, and to gauge their views on a broad range of issues affecting the Middle East.”

The event will be held at the Grand Hyatt Doha and is open to all CFA charterholders and investment professionals. For more information, please visit http://meic.cfainstitute.org/.

CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow.