The MENA Region: The Hub of World Hope

New York, (May 18 2009) The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is to be the centre of attention for US investment institutions for two days in New York on the 18th and 19th May, 2009. Beltone Financial is hosting the MENA First Day at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday 18th May, 2009, following on from Beltone’s highly successful Egypt Day, in February 2008, and then on the 19th May, 2009 when the MENA region’s business leaders will meet many American institutional investors directly.

For the first time in New York, the chief executives of four of the MENA region’s stock exchanges and many of its business leaders will highlight the many investment opportunities across the MENA region to Beltone Enclave’s institutional client base across the USA and Canada.

Mr Aladdin Saba, Beltone Financial’s CEO notes: “The MENA region has many variables which act to underpin the fundamental attraction of the investment opportunities which we continue to present to our clients on a daily basis.” He notes that “The MENA region has a young demographic structure which calls for extensive infrastructure spending from transport to healthcare and education, which is being funded by strong, long term revenue streams from hydrocarbon exports. These revenues have also been supporting the fast growth of non-oil businesses over the past decade and which have also helped lead to some of the most dynamic capital markets in the world. As the region’s leaders re-position the economies to maximise economic growth, and as Egypt awaits the visit of President Obama on the 4th June, we, and the world, are hopeful that peace can be achieved in the region which will serve to fundamentally alter the perceptions and the reality of the Middle East and North Africa.”

Former United States Treasury Secretary, Mr David McCormick, will deliver one of the keynote addresses in the New York Stock Exchange to the conference on May 18th. In addition, other notable figures at the conference include Mr Jalil Tarif, the Chief Executive of the Amman Stock Exchange, Jordan, Mr Ahmed Saleh Al Marhoon, Chief Executive of the Muscat Securities Market, Oman, Mr Maged Shawky, Chief Executive of the Egyptian Stock Exchange, and Mr. Suliman Al Shahmy, of the Libyan Stock Exchange.

Many institutions have scheduled one-on-one meetings with the companies attending Beltone’s conference from diverse sectors, encompassing construction, retail, telecommunications, automotive and manufacturing, amongst others.

The MENA region has witnessed a major rebound in its capital markets this year, seen through the rises in the region’s stock market indices which have, in turn, attracted investors back to look at the region anew to assess new opportunities. Amongst these attractions which add to the long term investment opportunities are:

High liquidity in the MENA region’s financial services sector, eg. the loan to deposit ratio in Egypt is only 55% versus over 100% in the UK. This liquidity can facilitate the growth of SMEs and the fast-growing private sector Unlike western economies, consumers in many countries of the MENA region are not highly leveraged, if at all. Mortgage, credit card and auto loans are at much lower rates than in the western world Several hundred of billions of dollars of necessary infrastructure spending over the next decade, including the construction of roads, railways, new airports, to healthcare and educational facilities, eg. a new secondary school is being completed every week in Saudi Arabia, and a new railway line from Jeddah to Mecca, and a further line to Riyadh are planned Clean energy exports, eg. Qatar is shipping liquefied natural gas to the UK which will be sufficient to supply around 20% of the UK’s natural gas requirements It has been lost in analysis, that today's oil price level is similar to that in May 2007, a period when analysts were expecting a boom in the region based on excess liquidity Low labour costs and skilled labour are attracting investment into the region’s manufacturing sector, eg. Airbus Industries opening a manufacturing facility in Tunisia, while multinationals in Egypt enjoy labour costs as low as those in China.
Given the above, and other factors, the MENA region should expect a speedier recovery than other regions of the world

About Beltone Financial Holding SAE
Beltone Financial Holding is one of the fastest growing investment banks in the Middle East and one of the region’s leading financial services firms, founded in 2002 by leaders in the financial services industry in the Middle East. Headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, Beltone Financial has attracted some of the brightest brains, growing to a staff of almost 300. Offices have been established in New York, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Beltone serves institutions and high-net-worth investors in the world’s most exciting investment market, outranking every other investment bank in the Middle East for year-on-year growth since its inception. Beltone Financial comprises divisions for asset management, private investment, private equity, brokerage and research.
Beltone’s Vision is enriching individual, corporate and community wealth by engaging in transformational relationships. Beltone is a catalyst in the MENA region and beyond, innovatively leveraging synergies to benefit its clients, as it searches for the best investment opportunities to present to its clients on a daily basis. The focus of Beltone’s strategy is innovation and product differentiation, for example, introducing the region’s first 401-k type savings plan, the first MENA Equity Fund and a variety of new investment banking products.

For information on Beltone Financial’s 'MENA First Day' Conference, please contact:

Financial Dynamics:

US:                                                MENA region:

Jordana Miller                             Philippa Daniels
+212-850-5733                         +971 (0) 4 332 8832  

Brendan McManus

Beltone Financial :