In the current environment of global credit freeze and at a time when listed firms in the Gulf have been struggling to attract capital, regional issuers have surprisingly shown an increasing level of transparency, according to the latest GCC transparency rankings. The BASIC (Behavioral Assessment Score for Investors and Corporations) index developed by The National Investor (TNI) of Abu Dhabi in partnership with Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, Dubai, improved by 8.3% since 2008 – an indication of the rapid progress made by regionally listed companies in improving transparency and disclosure.
“All crises have an upside too”, stated Dr. Nasser Saidi, Director of Hawkamah. “Shrinkage of the financial pie has resulted in greater competition for the available capital, which, in turn has forced Gulf firms to adopt better corporate governance policies.”
For the second year running, Arig (Arab Insurance Group) of Bahrain took Number One honors among the 607 companies listed in the Gulf, which for the first time included NASDAQ firms listed in Dubai. Runners up included UAE companies Emaar Properties, Sorouh Real Estate, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Aldar Properties. In accepting the award, Yassir Albaharna, CEO of Arig, commented: “We are extremely pleased and proud to be selected as the leader in terms of transparency, disclosure and corporate communications for the second year running. This is a wonderful reward for our efforts to be as open and informative to our stakeholders as possible.” Full report is available at www.TNIHawkamahReaserch.org
Arig is one of the largest Arab-owned, professional reinsurance providers in the Middle East and North Africa. Arig is listed on the stock exchanges in Bahrain, Dubai and Kuwait and offers a wide range of reinsurance products and services. Arig’s subsidiaries include Takaful Re (Dubai), Gulf Warranties (Bahrain) and ARIMA Insurance Software (Bahrain). Additional information about Arig can be obtained at www.arig.net