Corporate Governance in the Middle East and North Africa
The role of institutional investors in corporate governance and capital market development
The role of institutional investors in MENA capital markets has received little attention to date. A number of markets in the region remain retail based and regulators are aware of the need to diversify ownership and develop an active institutional investor industry. In addition, the level of investor engagement remains low, in part because retail investors lack the incentives and mechanisms for meaningful engagement, in part because local institutional investors tend to be less active in monitoring their investee companies. This project will aim to present the role of institutional investors in MENA capital markets and explore their role as owners of listed equity in terms of engagement with their investee companies.
Case studies of leading state-owned enterprises in the MENA region
Discussions of the Taskforce on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises have highlighted the keen interest among participants to share company specific governance practices of SOEs. Reflecting this interest, the OECD is preparing a new regional publication looking to showcase examples of SOEs which have been able to improve their governance and performance. Download the project proposal for more information about this publication. A number of leading companies from the region such as Du, Maaden, ENOC and Royal Air Maroc are already participating. These case studies will be presented in the upcoming SOE Taskforce meeting.
Corporate governance of MENA central securities depositaries
Central securities depositaries (CSDs) are key components of market infrastructure in the region. AMEDA is a regional organisation gathering African and MENA-based CSDs with a view to share good practices among them. The OECD is currently collaborating with AMEDA to conduct a survey on corporate governance of MENA CSDs. The survey, developed by the OECD, covers key components of CSDs’ governance frameworks, including board structure and responsibilities, risk management, transparency and shareholder rights. The results of the survey will be compiled and presented at an upcoming AMEDA roundtable to highlight regional differences and identify good practices in the region to be adopted.
The MENA-OECD Working Group on Corporate Governance was launched in 2005 in order to provide a platform for discussing corporate governance priorities in the MENA region, sharing best practices and evaluating their implementation. It is comprised of representatives of regional securities regulators, central banks, stock exchanges, ministries of Finance and Economy as well as other public and private sector actors interested in further promoting corporate governance in the region.
Three regional taskforces have been formed under the umbrella of this Working Group to address specific challenges:
These taskforces provide unique and specialised venues for peer dialogue, research and sharing of good practices.
In addition, the Working Group provides country-specific advice and assistance. Over the past years, the OECD has provided on request technical input in a number of important regional initiatives such as the introduction of corporate governance codes and other support to securities regulators. We also collaborate actively with the private sector and have recently established the MENA Investor Council composed of key portfolio investors to address challenges related to attracting long term investment to the region.