Finance Ministry, EDB sponsor Financial Conference

Manama: Feb. 3 – (BNA): Public and private sector leaders from across the region will gather today in Bahrain for the MEED Project & Infrastructure Finance Conference sponsored by the Ministry of Finance and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB). The conference focuses on the most relevant issues affecting the region’s project and infrastructure finance

Manama: Feb. 3 – (BNA): Public and private sector leaders from across the region will gather today in Bahrain for the MEED Project & Infrastructure Finance Conference sponsored by the Ministry of Finance and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).

The conference focuses on the most relevant issues affecting the region’s project and infrastructure finance market and will showcase market driven success stories including working with project uncertainty, risk allocation and reduced involvement from European Banks.

Opening the event, Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance and Minister in Charge of Oil and Gas Affairs, for the Kingdom of Bahrain, will deliver the keynote address.

A key panel on the first day is Bahrain Spotlight: the resurgent project & infrastructure market in Bahrain. Chairing the session is Christophe Marriot, Regional Head of Structured Finance at BNP Paribas, who will provide an overview of the Bahrain projects market for the next 5-10 years. In addition, the session will explore the crucial role played by private finance in meeting the long term low cost housing needs of Bahrain, as well as a review of the headline deals in the energy and non-energy markets.

Commenting on the event, Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB, said:

“To have so many public and private sector leaders convening in one place to look at the challenges and opportunities facing the regional infrastructure landscape is a significant achievement. Bahrain and the wider GCC boast a strong track record in delivering infrastructure projects that benefit not only the people but also showcase world leading technology and aspiration. This conference will enable participants to identify a roadmap for future projects.”

Bahrain has been a financial centre for over 40 years. The financial services industry in Bahrain employed more than 14,000 people at the end of 2010, of which two thirds were Bahrainis. Alongside the increase in the number of financial institutions, the financial services sector in Bahrain continued to grow in 2012 and expanded by 3.5%, according to the Bahrain Economic Quarterly report.

In addition to the panel sessions taking place at the Conference, a series of GCC focused roundtable sessions with key clients from high opportunity countries will enable participants to discuss specific challenges and solutions associated with securing project finance.

The roundtables will cover; challenges and opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s project finance market: rail, water, power and petrochemicals; challenges and opportunities in Qatar’s infrastructure finance market; Kuwait’s first PPP IWPP programme; and Oman’s airport, port and water projects.

Key speakers at the Conference include; Jamal Al Rammah, Treasurer, Saudi Aramco; Luciano Poli, Chief Financial Officer, Sadara Chemical Company; Robert Ainey, Chief Executive Officer, Bahrain Association of Banks; Dr Jarmo Kotilaine, Chief Economist, Bahrain Economic Development Board; Kelly Thomson, Head of Structure Finance, Mubadala Development Company; and Mansoor Durrani, Senior Vice President, National Commercial Bank. (Press release. Source: EDB Online Newsroom).

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