6th August 2019


MENA's Pre-eminent Financial Restructuring Summit returns to Dubai this September

Over 300 industry powerhouses are expected to converge at the two-day summit in Dubai that will see the opening keynote address by Dr. Fahad Alshathri, Deputy Governor - Supervision, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

Dubai, UAE – July 24, 2019: Middle East Global Advisors, a leading financial intelligence platform spearheading the development of knowledge-based economies in the MENASEA markets, will convene The 2nd Annual Corporate Restructuring Summit (CRS 2019) - the MENA region’s pre-eminent Debt Restructuring and NPL-focused Summit, in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on September 11-12 at the Address Dubai Mall in Dubai, UAE.

Addressing the theme of “Emergence of New Alliances: Managing Debt & Non-Performing Loans”, the summit’s vision is to facilitate an enabling environment to address the key challenges associated with financial restructuring of corporate debts, effective management of non-performing assets and enabling capital adequacy and profitability through exploring mergers & acquisitions.

As a strategic partner of the Summit, Steve Barnett, Executive Director, Business Development, Abu Dhabi Global Market said, “In today’s complex and increasingly volatile marketplace, companies need a stable and conducive environment to grow their businesses. As an innovative and progressive International Financial Centre, ADGM provides a holistic suite of business and licensing solutions, a robust regulatory platform and world-class legislation for entities and corporates to operate efficiently, restructure their business effectively and achieve their ambition in Abu Dhabi, the Middle East and beyond. We look forward to meeting the banks, corporates, funds and restructuring specialists to discuss and exchange insights of current challenges of restructuring and strategic reorganisation of finance and debt-related matters."

Following the oil price slump in 2014, numerous industry sectors – predominantly oil & gas, real estate and construction experienced substantial liquidity shortage, leaving corporates heavily invested in these sectors and reliant on Government spending with diminishing profits and an inability to service existing debt exposures and project finances, spiking up the region’s NPL portfolios. In consequence, corporate workouts and financial restructuring have become the norm to aid organizations with troubled balance sheets to combat debt delinquencies and defaults.

The recent wave of restructuring reforms in the GCC with UAE issuing the Bankruptcy Law in 2016 - the first of its kind in the region and one at par with international insolvency standards - aims at modernising the existing regime to offer debtors greater opportunities for reorganisation, provide simplified liquidation process, ensure fair treatment of creditors, all of which will boost investor confidence enabling FDIs into the region. Economic stability continues to be a high-priority for the UAE with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, enacting a new DIFC Insolvency Law that will come into effect in August 2019 as it aims at balancing the needs of all stakeholders in the context of distressed and bankruptcy related situations in DIFC.

Adding to the ongoing wave of regulatory reforms in GCC’s financial sector, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain introduced their respective bankruptcy laws in 2018, encouraging corporate reorganisation over liquidation. In Saudi Arabia, with the National Transformation Programme 2020 and Vision 2030 setting the stage for major transformation with the aim of optimizing the Kingdom’s business & investment climate, the Bankruptcy Law was introduced as part of Saudi Arabia’s regulatory reforms with the aim of further strengthening the Kingdom’s business environment. To broaden the perspective on Saudi Arabia’s transformation drive, the summit will see an Opening Keynote address by Dr. Fahad Alshathri, Deputy Governor – Supervision, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) assessing the state of the credit market and measuring the impact of corporate debt on the global and regional economy. The summit will also play host to Mr. Majed Al-Rasheed, Secretary General, Bankruptcy Commission as he shares insights in the Regulators’ Panel focusing on Driving economic growth via FDIs, M&As and minimizing bad debt portfolios.

Among the first organizations to avail and benefit from the Saudi Bankruptcy Law, was Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers (AHAB), in their bid to achieve successful financial restructuring involving 100+ creditors, following a 10-year long settlement process. Speaking ahead of the Exclusive CEO’s panel, Simon Charlton, Chief Restructuring Officer & Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers said, “The process of social and economic reform in Saudi Arabia under the guidance of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz continues with pace. One of the more significant economic/business developments in the past twelve months has been the enactment of the new Bankruptcy law. Since the beginning of 2019 we have seen the first uses of the New Saudi Arabian Bankruptcy Law; debtors and creditors are availing themselves of the tools and protections of this new law. There are a number of very high profile cases currently before the courts and this is a serious and robust test of this new law and there is significant interest in Saudi Arabia and internationally as to how effective the new procedures for protective settlement, financial restructuring and liquidation will be and how the courts and the various professionals involved particularly Bankruptcy trustees will perform.”

Speaking ahead of the regulators panel, Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Chairman, Bahrain Association & Banks and President & Chief Executive, Al Baraka Banking Group expressed, “In the wake of several countries that have had the misfortune of succumbing to the aftermath of a financial crisis, difficulties faced by financial institutions and corporates, and resulted accumulation of NPLs, the 2nd Annual Corporate Restructuring Summit gains substantial importance for both financial institutions and regulators and other governmental bodies. I am honored to be part of an esteemed panel and look forward to discuss Bahrain’s efforts in fostering a supportive environment for businesses in varying stages of its lifecycle, a strong factor that will attract FDIs into the region. In addition, I would like to discuss the different strategies adopted by Bahraini Banks to combat the challenge of NPLs, asset quality and capital adequacy.”

If the challenge of rising non-performing assets is not addressed, it can cripple banks’ cash flows and lending abilities, with serious negative consequences reflected throughout the economy. As banks look for ways to clean their balance sheet and dispose non-core assets, they drive opportunities for mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and establishment of distressed loan sale market for potential buyers and sellers.

Speaking ahead of the panel on Managing NPL portfolios & driving down regional average, Manoj Chawla, Group Chief Risk Officer, Emirates NBD said, “As the MENA market becomes more sophisticated with respect to debt restructurings there are new and innovative solutions to address the NPL portfolio of local lenders. We are increasingly seeing local lenders explore portfolio-based solutions, debt for equity swaps, secondary market sales and litigation financing as means to address their ever growing NPL books. The local banks are now also better equipped than earlier to deal with distressed situations with experienced work out teams and more advanced risk management procedures. Lenders are also identifying issues early and seeking to work with their customers to address problems in an objective manner.”

Key Industry Veterans from leading banks and corporates will headline The Corporate Restructuring Summit 2019 as it aims to spearhead discussions gravitating around the three high-stake areas of effective NPL management, debt restructuring and Mergers & Acquisitions.The confirmed industry leaders at the summit include: Dr. Fahad Alshathri, Deputy Governor - Supervision, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA); Tareq A. Al-Sadhan, Chief Executive Officer, Riyad Bank; Richard Hinchley, Chief Risk Officer, The Saudi British Bank (SABB); Mike Grant, Chief Restructuring Officer, Drake & Scull; David McDiarmid, Partner, Resolute Asset Management; Bruno Navarro, Senior Adviser, Rothschild, Managing Director, IPSO FACTO; Richard Clarke, Senior Vice President – Business Development and Mergers & Acquisitions, GEMS Education; Mohammed Riaz, Head of Financial Restructuring Department, Kuwait Finance House Bahrain; Esteban Buljevich, Head of Special Assets & Restructuring Department, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank; Naveed Kamal, Corporate Bank Head Middle East & North Africa (MENA), Citi; Amine Antari, Managing Director, Kroll & Sassan Hatam, Partner, Roland Berger, among others.

Key Features at CRS 2019 include: Keynote Addresses on bolstering economic growth in the MENA by fostering a conducive environment for doing business & transaction forecasts for MENA 2021; Exclusive CEO’s Panel analyzing some of MENA’s biggest workouts; Regulators Panel on driving economic growth via FDIs, M&As and minimizing bad debt portfolios; Key Panels focused on mergers, acquisitions and divestiture, distressed investing and NPL servicing platforms, managing NPL portfolios and driving down regional average & more.

Partners at CRS 2019 include Resolute Asset Management, Eyad Reda Law Firm, Roland Berger, Kroll & Omni Bridgeway. The summit’s Bankruptcy Regulatory Partner is Bankruptcy Commission, Association Partner is Saudi Banks while CNBC Arabia is the Official Broadcast Partner.

The summit is expected to draw participation from over 300 prominent banks, corporates, legal-advisory firms, hedge funds, investment banks and debt restructuring specialists from across the MENA onto one platform by spearheading actionable debate, impactful change and high-level outcomes.

To find out more about CRS 2019, please visit: www.crs19.com

Join the global conversation on Twitter at: @CorpRS #CorpRestructure19