days to go
Building a Nation: Mortgage Finance
and Public-Private Partnerships

Realising the Potential of Islamic Finance & Investment
Date: 7th November 2018 Venue: Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh

IFN returns to Saudi Arabia for the seventh time to host one of the biggest events in its annual calendar. IFN Saudi Arabia Forum 2018 will be held in Riyadh to explore the opportunities in one of the most active and influential markets in the Islamic financial world, bringing the Kingdom onto the global stage and opening up the market for local, domestic and international players interested in entering this most vibrant of industries.

Saudi Arabia has embarked on a concerted effort to enhance and improve its Islamic finance capabilities in recent years, in tandem with its National Transformation Program 2020 pushing the Kingdom to diversify away from an oil-based economy as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 driven by the pioneering new Crown Prince Mohammed Salman. With the oil price volatility of recent years forcing Gulf economies to seek new methods of fundraising, Saudi Arabia made history in 2017 with a debut US dollar Sukuk issuance of US$9 billion, followed by multiple domestic Saudi riyal issuances, all of which met with exceptional investor demand and which have carved a place for Saudi as one of the most influential sovereign issuers of Islamic paper in the world. Major Islamic issuances from state-owned enterprises such as Saudi Aramco and Saudi Electricity Company have also gone a long way toward creating a yield curve encouraging new issuers to enter the market, and Saudi is well on the way to developing an active domestic corporate capital market of its own.

The Kingdom has also concentrated on expanding and opening up its equity markets: welcoming foreign investors to Tadawul in 2016 and gradually enhancing transparency and regulation through a series of robust overhauls that have supported confidence in the Kingdom and seen foreign funds flood into the market. The launch of its new alternative SME equity exchange, Nomu, in 2017 was a pioneering move to encourage small businesses and develop its private equity market, while its booming IPO sector expects to make history in mid-2018 with the long-awaited Saudi Aramco IPO – which could become the biggest listing in history and which has overseas exchanges jockeying for a piece of the pie.

Real estate of course remains a prime focus, and REITs proved the surprise success story of the past year, with Saudi taking the lead among GCC nations in setting up a conducive regulatory environment to encourage the establishment of numerous successful funds. Project and infrastructure finance also continues apace, with major new sectors such as transportation, solar power and the Red Sea Tourism project opening up new opportunities for Islamic finance.

Our exclusive access to the movers and shakers who matter make IFN Saudi Arabia Forum the essential event for anyone with interest in the Saudi market. IFN Saudi Arabia Forum 2018 is slated to attract global market players eager to gain access to the highly lucrative Saudi Arabian market. With its solid regulatory framework combined with a commendable commitment to innovation and progress, the Saudi Arabian market looks set to continue its success story and consolidate its position as one of the most influential markets in the Islamic finance world.



09:00 – 09:15 Chairman's Welcome
John Sandwick –
General Manager, Safa Investment Service
09:15 – 10:15 Mega Trends: Domestic and Global Influencers for Islamic Finance and Investment in Saudi Arabia
We examine the privatization program in the Kingdom and address its objectives. We look at opportunities in key sectors and ask what role financial institutions can play in the PPP/BOT process – what has been done to date and what is expected from bank financing? We discuss the National Centre for Privatisation and ask what the private sector and Islamic finance can offer in the development of the Kingdom's important infrastructure and social welfare projects and the long-term benefit of the Saudi people.
Panelists: Fabrice Susini – CEO, Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company
Mazin Ahmed Al Ghunaim  CEO, Bidaya Home Finance
10:15 – 11:00 Building Futures for the People of Saudi Arabia: Privatization, Public-Private Partnerships Infrastructure Development Finance
We examine the privatization program in the Kingdom and address its objectives. We look at opportunities in key sectors and ask what role financial institutions can play in the PPP/BOT process – what has been done to date and what is expected from bank financing? We discuss the National Centre for Privatisation and ask what the private sector and Islamic finance can offer in the development of the Kingdom's important infrastructure and social welfare projects and the long-term benefit of the Saudi people.
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee and Networking
11:30 – 12:10 Growing Mortgage Finance and Assessing Saudi Arabian Real Estate Investment 
We examine the financing of the Kingdom's ambitious housing program through the growth and development of the domestic mortgage market. What needs to be done to further drive home ownership in the Kingdom and what else does the mortgage ecosystem require? What is the latest assessment of Saudi Arabian Mortgage Laws and where does Islamic finance play a role? We analyse the potential for real estate securitization and asset-backed Sukuk in Saudi and what the market needs for this to move forward including structures and regulation. We also discuss inward and outward real estate direct investment into European and US markets.
12:10 – 12:20 Presentation
12:20 – 12:55 Talking Saudi Arabian Funds and Asset Management 
We address how Saudi Arabia can widen the investor base for Sukuk and bonds, as well as the potential for recent investment management structures such as trade finance funds, debt funds and REITs. What does FTSE/MSCI inclusion mean for the country’s capital markets? We also discuss recent growth of private equity activity in the Kingdom and the engagement of family offices and high net-worth individuals. Lastly, we examine regulatory changes to QFI ownership rules, the further liberalisation of Tadawul, the uses of Waqf structures in Islamic asset management and the rise of Financial Technology.
12:55 – 14:15 Luncheon
14:15 – 15:15 Growth and Innovation of Capital Markets in the Kingdom: Highlights and Opportunities
We assess the diversification of funding for corporates in Saudi and the potential for Sukuk issuance among medium-sized corporates. We examine recent regulatory changes, including SPV regulations and those relevant to corporate debt. We look at innovation including the development of convertible and exchangeable Sukuk, the initiation of domestic securitization programs for non-bank financial institutions and the potential for Waqf in capital market transactions. We also discuss important issues such as the national privatisation program, the Shariah-compliance of tradable debt instruments, ratings, and the development and deepening of domestic secondary markets.
15:15 – 15:40 Developing SRI/ESG Finance and Investment in the Kingdom
We examine the increasingly significant role played by Saudi Arabia in the development of responsible investment and sustainable energy, the financing of wind and solar power and the first nuclear-powered power facility in the Kingdom.
Panelist: Trevor Norman – Director, VG
15:40 – 16:10 Managing Risk and Rating Implications
Leading capital markets and investment management professionals discuss the lessons learnt so far from the Dana Gas event and ask if Saudi Arabia is immune to such an occurrence. We also examine the effectiveness of credit enhancement measures in the local fixed income and Sukuk market and discuss the associated rating implications.
Moderator: Khalid Howladar – Managing Director and Founder, Acreditus
16:10 – 16:20 Presentation
16:20 – 17:00 Fintech Huddle
We discuss the role of Fintech, digital platforms, tokenization and Shariah compliant offerings in today's financial industry in Saudi Arabia. What are the latest approaches to incorporating coin offerings and Cryptocurrencies and what benefits can be offered through regulatory sandboxes? What are the Shariah compliance issues of Cryptocurrencies? We assess the latest developments in Fintech and analyse likely industry shifts, regulation and developments in product and delivery channels.
17:00 End of Forum
17:00 – 17:30 Refreshment and Networking






King & Spalding


The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)
The Islamic Corporation for The Insurance Of Investment And Export Credit (ICIEC)
International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation
The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) IDB Group Business Forum (THIQAH) 


Mashreq Capital
White & Case
Winston & Strawn




Islamic Finance news
IFN Corporate
IFN Saudi Arabia


AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics
Alpha Journal
CMO Asia
Dunia Fintech.com
Focus Economics
ICO Holder
Middle East Business Magazine & News
Oxford Business Group
SME Magazine
The SME Times
The Business Year





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