In an effort to raise awareness on the Capital Markets Authority’s strategy to build a culture of corporate governance and capacity building at the level of independent directors on the boards of Lebanese companies, Vice Chairman of the Capital Markets Authority, Mr. Firas Safieddine participated in a panel discussion entitled: “Lebanon’s Stock Market and Corporate Governance implications for SME listing” which brought together Mr. Yahia Al-Husseini representing the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Dr. Fouad Zmokhol, President of the Association of Lebanese Business People in the World (RDCL World), in addition to the Assistant Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), Mrs. Hiba El Sarafi and Dr. Josiane Fahed Sreih, founder of the Institute of Family and Entrepreneurial Business at the Lebanese American University.
The panelist who are experts on their subject matter, focused on the importance of the role of the Capital Markets Authority and other institutions that are active on initiatives related to governance in the private sector, especially in developing a culture of good governance and transparency at corporations which will ultimately translate in better performance at the level of companies and facilitated access to low cost financing through capital markets or listing of shares.
The Vice Chairman of the Capital Markets Authority, Mr. Firas Safieddine, stressed on the regulatory role of the CMA in this regard, whereby highlighting that corporate governance is part of the implementing regulations of CMA, addressing good governance at the level of institutions and financial instruments and securities offered to the public.
Mr. Safieddine also shared with the panelists the CMA guidelines and requests for local companies to appoint the majority of its board of directors as independent directors, stating that the said companies are liable to inform the CMA in cases where they could not conform with the request.
In this regard, the Capital Markets Authority supports initiatives like “Tamayyaz”, that enable the preparation of Certified Independent Directors crucial to alleviating the performance of local companies and their respective boards.