A recent panel discussion titled "Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) and Corporate Entities Component in Investment Banking & Asset Management" highlighted the importance of promoting Bahrain as a hub for SPVs.
The discussion, hosted by the Bahrain Asset Managers Association (BAMA) in partnership with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), noted the opportunity to market Bahrain as an SPV hub for regional and international needs. SPVs are business entities whose operations are limited to the acquisition and financing of specific assets.
“The roundtable session is in line with BAMA's efforts to promote the kingdom of Bahrain as a regional and international hub for this specialized element of investment banking and asset management,” Dr. Ahmed Al Jawhary, CEO of J Equity Partners and chairman of BAMA, said. “The session was an important first step in addressing the opportunity for the SPV business in Bahrain and emphasized the significance of dialogue between all stakeholders in the financial sector. Professional and interactive channels of communication and introduction of a think tank element comprising practitioners, investment firms and asset managers licensed under the CBB (Central Bank of Bahrain) from one side and the regulator, law and decision makers from another side are critical in perfecting the legislative and technical framework for such a critical industry.”
Involved in the discussion were panelists EDB Chief Executive Khalid Al Rumaihi, Executive Director of Financial Institutions Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain Abdulrahman Al Baker and Al Jawhary.
“BAMA succeeded through its debut event to illustrate how ideas, insights and feedback from all concerned parties involved in Bahrain's asset management industry can be crystallized to form executable recommendations that can be implemented through official platforms and formal channels,” Al Jawhary said. “Following this important session on SPVs a white paper will be developed and submitted to the concerned authorities in the kingdom for their consideration and perusal. In this manner, to objective of integrating the professional opinions and feedback gathered from these sessions into the decision making process will be swiftly fulfilled.”
Panelists mulled over the effects of promoting Bahrain as a regional and global SPV hub, to include a direct economic boost as well as subsequent growth from SPV related events held within the area. Other issues deliberated during the event were choosing a leader for the SPV business in the kingdom, understanding and implementing the regulations for SPVs, secrecy and privacy laws, competition within the area and immediate needs for developing an innovative SPV hub in Bahrain.
“Bahrain is a leading asset management center in the region, with four decades of experience, and asset managers now distribute more funds from our shores than from anywhere else in the Middle East,” Al Rumaihi said. “The sector benefits from our core strengths, including the diverse pool of quality talent, our strong regional connectivity and the cost-competitive environment. The Central Bank of Bahrain and the kingdom's government are also progressing a number of important regulatory initiatives that will further strengthen our offering. We look forward to working with BAMA to develop and expand the asset management sector, positioning Bahrain as a leading regional and global hub for the industry.”