Public listing on stock exchanges can drive business growth and innovation, especially in countries undertaking large-scale infrastructure development, according to speakers at a Dubai debate organised by ICAEW's Corporate Finance Faculty.
Speakers at the event, held on February 19 at The Ritz Carlton DIFC, said that by increasing access to capital and reducing reliance on debt finance IPOs could mean more scope for investment and large scale development – especially for companies looking to expand internationally. They also noted that the process of meeting regulatory requirements can boost corporate reputation and enhance trust and business confidence.
Delegates at the event included Pramod Balakrishnan, CFO of Al Noor Hospital Group, Fahima Al Bastaki, Head of Business Development at the Dubai Financial Market, Samer Deghaili, Regional Head of Equity Capital Markets (MENA) at HSBC, Greg Hughes, Director of Capital Markets, Transactions and Restructuring at KPMG and David Petrie, Head of Corporate Finance at ICAEW.
The keynote speech was provided by City of London Alderman and Sheriff Sir Paul Judge, and Declan Hayes, Managing Director of Transaction and Restructuring Services for Deloitte Corporate Finance and Chairman of ICAEW's Corporate Finance Faculty Middle East Network, welcomed guests and introduced speakers. The debate was moderated by Malcolm Taylor, Co Presenter of Business Breakfast on Dubai Eye.
The event was attended by around 100 representatives of the accountancy and finance industry from across the region.
Speaking at the event, David Petrie said: "One of the main challenges for businesses in the UAE has traditionally been access to finance from an international institutional investor base. Experience from London, which is recognised as a world-class destination for forward-thinking corporate finance and capital markets, suggests that rising numbers of IPOs can have a significantly positive effect on business growth and international networks. With appetite for capital investment, restructuring and public listing growing in the UAE, this is a great time to forge closer links between businesses here and the City of London."
Peter Beynon, Regional Director, ICAEW Middle East, said: "The debate was an excellent opportunity for leading finance professionals to have a constructive discussion and share first hand insights and experiences about the challenges, benefits and choices faced by companies executing an IPO. As the UAE continues to lay firm foundations for a more diversified economy, and cement its position as a finance hub both for the Middle East region and globally, opportunities to share expertise in this way will be increasingly important."