Corporate Governance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)


The role of institutional investors in corporate governance and capital market development

The role of institutional investors in capital markets in the MENA region has received little attention to date. A number of markets in the region remain retail based (in terms of ownership and trading) 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. Nonetheless, attracting long term, “patient” capital is a priority for the development of MENA capital markets and for improving the governance of listed 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.


Call for Case Studies of Leading SOEs in the MENA Region

The OECD is preparing a new regional publication looking to showcase examples of SOEs which have been able to improve their performance or achieve other strategic aims relevant to the overall socio-economic development. We are looking for case studies of SOEs from the MENA region which have reformed their governance practices and those that are in the process of doing so. Download the project proposal for more information about participating.


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:

  • Taskforce on Corporate Governance of Banks
  • Taskforce on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises
  • Taskforce of MENA Stock Exchanges for Corporate Governance

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.


Key documents





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Privatisation and Demutualisation of MENA Stock Exchanges


State-Owned Enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa - 180 pixels

SOEs in the Middle East and North Africa: Engines of Development and Competitiveness?
English | Arabic


 Towards New Arrangements for State Ownership in the Middle East and North Africa EnglishArabic


 The Role of MENA Stock Exchanges in Corporate Governance cover page 150x215

The Role of MENA Stock Exchanges in Corporate Governance



Hawkamah Institute

Union of Arab Banks

Union of Arab Stock Exchanges

GCC Board Directors Institute

Union of Arab Securities Authorities

Africa and Middle East Depositories Association