INTERNATIONAL. Standard & Poor’s, a leading provider of financial market intelligence, today announced it will be a member of the Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association (GBSA) Steering Committee.
The GBSA is a new independent membership body devoted to the development of fixed income markets across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The move underscores Standard & Poor’s ongoing commitment to supporting the development of the region’s capital markets.
The GBSA, which was launched today at a ceremony in Dubai, will provide a forum for local bond market and sukuk issuers and investors and will carry out its work in conjunction with local governments, regulators, corporations, banks and asset managers.
It will champion efforts to deepen and widen regional capital markets by promoting international best practice, contribute to the development of legislation and regulation, raise professional standards, and facilitate further training and professional education.
While based in the United Arab Emirates, the GBSA will work across the Gulf region and will not be sponsored by or aligned with any individual market or jurisdiction.
Jan Willem Plantagie, Standard & Poor’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said while the region had historically relied on the banking sector to finance its growth, massive investment needs projected over the next decade meant governments and local companies will increasingly need to look towards alternative funding sources besides international capital markets.
As such, the development of national and regional capital markets will be crucial to provide the necessary funding diversification.
“The GCC fixed income markets remain significantly underdeveloped compared with the equity markets and bank lending, and as recent global and regional events have shown, many of the features necessary for the functioning of a truly dynamic and transparent capital market in the region are yet to be realised”, said Jan Willem Plantagie, Standard & Poor's Regional Manager for the Middle East.
"Deep, liquid and efficient markets – both conventional and Shariah-compliant - are essential if the Gulf is to fully realise its ambition of becoming a leading global financial centre.”