Bahrain is hosting a conference with a focus on the issues plaguing the region's project and infrastructure financing market from today ( February 3 ). The MEED Project and Infrastructure Finance Conference , which runs till February 5 at the Intercontinental Regency Hotel , is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohamed Al Khalifa , Minister, Bahrain Ministry of Finance . It will provide market-driven success stories including working with project uncertainty, risk allocation and reduced involvement from European banks. The Middle East and Africa region accounted for the largest regional share of global project finance market in 2013, with a total of $87.6 billion -worth of deals signed. The total transaction volume is more than double the $41.5 billion raised in 2012 and the highest volume on record, according to data provider Dealogic. Edmund O'Sullivan , conference chairman, said: "The conference is to be addressed by more than 35 top regional and international speakers." Saudi Aramco treasurer Jamal Al Rammah will attend the conference and accept the MEED Project and Infrastructure Finance Deal of the Year award on behalf of the Sadara team. Economic Development Board (EDB) chief economist Jarmo Kotilaine will review the impact on GCC and Middle East economies of global economic and financial trends. In addition to its comprehensive coverage of global and regional trends in project and infrastructure finance, the onference will also investigate recently-completed major project finance deals including the $10.5 billion Sadara project deal. The second largest transaction to Sadara was the $4.5 billion Emirates Aluminium Company deal. The financing was raised to fund the second phase of the expansion of the company's processing plant. A $4.2 billion Shariah-compliant refinancing was raised for the Saudi telecoms firm Zain at the end of July, marking the third largest project finance deal to close in the region, which was followed by a $3.2 billion deal raised in favour of Al Jubail Petrochemical Company in Saudi Arabia. While government spending has been the key source for the project finance market in the region, public-private partnership is also being explored to finance some mega projects, especially in the transport and industrial sectors where massive investments are required. The conference also presents an opportunity for project owners, investors, fund managers, investment banks, ECA s, lenders and advisors across key sectors to discuss new market trends, deal structures and the latest commercial opportunities associated with mega-projects across the region. - TradeArabia News Service ?
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