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Middle East Investor Relations Society highlights opportunities, challenges in MENASA region.

*ME-IR Society workshop hosted on occasion of inaugural MENASA Forum, attended by leading capital market participants*Greater disclosure and transparency critical for development of regional capital markets*Increased investment flows and economic diversification will push IR to the forefrontDubai, May 26, 2010: The crucial role of investor relations (IR) in the rapidly expanding Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region was the subject of a workshop hosted recently by the Middle East Investor Relations Society (ME-IR Society). Held at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) on the occasion of the inaugural MENASA Forum, workshop participants examined the latest IR trends and highlighted the importance of IR given the new reality across global capital markets, where the level of transparency has become the barometer of a stable financial system."The potential represented by a US$4.5 trillion MENASA economy has significant implications for IR professionals in the coming years," said Arif Amiri, Chairman, Middle East Investor Relations Society. "Clearly, there will be increasing need for transparency and tighter checks given the development of capital markets across the region. Greater cross-border investment flows and economic diversification across retail, energy, telecommunications, financial services and tourism will push IR to the forefront of business decisions as competition for capital becomes more intense.""Events like these are important in ensuring a greater level of awareness on IR best practices and sharing our experiences," said Amiri. "On this occasion, I would also like to thank our partners for supporting this event, and especially DIFC, for providing us with the opportunity to organise this workshop."Dr. Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist, Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, who spoke at the workshop, addressed the increased significance of emerging markets and gave an overview of capital markets across the MENASA region. He also highlighted the importance of transparency and disclosure in enhancing investor confidence and improved credit ratings. In turn, such actions result in lower capital costs, increased attractiveness to foreign direct investment, greater financial stability and long-term growth.The workshop also featured a research presentation from Thomson Reuters on regional investment flows, in addition to an interactive panel discussion on the role of investor relations in a recovering economic climate.During the last two years, the Middle East Investor Relations Society has strengthened its presence regionally by opening dedicated chapters in several countries, and honoured best practices in investor relations with the first ever Middle East Investor Relations Society Awards in 2009. These awards were based on the Thomson Reuters Extel Surveys of fund managers and analysts who invested in the Middle East region.The Middle East Investor Relations Society has also signed strategic MoUs with the IR Society of the UK, Dubai Financial Market and Nasdaq Dubai to promote best practices in investor relations.Since its formation in 2008, the Middle East Investor Relations Society has played an active part in ensuring that regional companies have access to the necessary tools, resources and network of experts to support them in their efforts to adopt and implement best practice investor relations. 2010 Al Bawaba (

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Date:May 27, 2010
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