Dubai : Call for greater transparency, tougher stock exchange rules

DUBAI — In terms of governance and transparency, the Middle East « has come a long way but still has a way to go, especially in relation to international accounting rules, » says Shayne Nelson, Standard Chartered’s regional chief executive in the Gulf and Levant. Speaking to Khaleej Times, he emphasised the need for greater transparency « in terms of financials as well as the need for tougher stock exchange rules. » For many companies, « their financials don’t have the detail and transparency that stakeholders and regulators require. This is generally an issue across the region. Although countries vary, we would like to see an improvement, » he says. But he added that « regulations are improving quite quickly and that the DIFC creates a good standard for countries to look up to. » Nelson also thinks « Bahrain is doing a very good job. » He also believes that financial centres should not be competing with one another to become the « centre of excellence » for the region but should be seeking to establish their own niche. « It doesn’t necessarily mean that because you are smaller you can’t find a niche that is very profitable and adds a lot of value to the community, » he says. « Despite Singapore being a big regional financial hub, for example, Malaysia has still found a niche as an Islamic hub. » Source : Khaleedj