Union of Arab Banks (UAB), the apex body of the US$4 trillion banking industry in the Arab World, has appointed Dubai-based Cogent Solutions Events Management (CS Events) – a futuristic and innovative events management company in the Middle East, as its Exclusive Strategic Partner to co-create, market, and deliver its activities in the UAE and KSA, that will help the banking sector’s growth as well as strengthen financial inclusion in the coming years.
Arab World’s banking sector’s assets had surpassed the US$4 trillion mark by the end of 2021, representing 136 percent of the Arab World’s GDP, according to a report, Financial Stability Report in Arab Countries for 2022, published by Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), recently.
The banking sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries accounted for 67.8 percent of total assets in the Arab banking sector at the end of last year.
Banks in the UAE continue to hold 22.4 percent share of Arab banking assets at the end of last year, followed by Saudi banks with a market share of 21.7 percent. AMF said, the Arab banking sector had overcome the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic with no significant adverse effects on its financial balance sheets.
Meanwhile, Egyptian banks accounted for 13.6 percent of total Arab banking assets, and Moroccan, Lebanese, and Algerian banks accounted for 4.2 percent, 3.7 percent, and 3.5 percent, respectively.
Despite the success, however, more than 50 percent population in the Middle East and Africa remains unbanked, while financial technology is disrupting the region’s banking and financial sectors – that doubles up the challenges faced by the industry.
As the Exclusive Strategic Partner, CS Events will curate strategic events, trainings and marketing programme to strengthen Union of Arab Bank’s presence and implement its policies to expand financial inclusion in the region.
“We are happy to appoint CS Events as our Exclusive Strategic Partner to curate, develop and expand our extensive events and marketing drive to strengthen regulatory environment, financial inclusion and awareness in the coming months and years,”Wissam H Fattouh, Secretary-General of Union of Arab Banks, said.
“The banking sector in the Arab world is undergoing a digital transformation that is changing the way people bank and avail financial services. We are going to support this transition through carefully crafted events and marketing programmes to develop awareness on the new way of banking and in the process, help strengthen the financial inclusion in the Arab World. We find a lot of synergies with CS Events that brings fresh and innovative ideas to the table.”
CS Events, which was established in Dubai, UAE, in April 2020 – during the COVID-19 lockdown – has come a long way in creating not only its mark, but helped businesses grow through virtual, physical and hybrid business conferences during the pandemic. In this process, it has also grown with the industry and its clients as a recession-proof business in the GCC region.
In 2021, CS Events organised 19 virtual events with 10 a team of 10 professionals working in different departments across sales, projects and finance through a small office. Despite the pandemic, the company grew its operations and shifted to a new office in Business Bay and continued its expansion.
In 2022, it has so far delivered seven physical events and more than 20 virtual roundtable events. There are 10 more physical events to be completed by year-end and the company plans to do 30 more virtual events including events in new regions like Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Nizam Deen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CS Events, says, “It is indeed a matter of both honour and pride for us to be appointed as the Exclusive Strategic Partner of the Union of Arab Banks – that represents the US$4 trillion banking industry in the Arab world. We are elated with this partnership, which brings a lot of responsibilities on our shoulder – in order to help implement the strategic vision of the Union of Arab Banks.
“Over the last few years, we were able to execute some innovative conferences for the banking sector that is undergoing tremendous digital transformation and needs to be highlighted and communicated to the banking fraternity and its biggest stakeholders – the customers – who sometimes do not know of the changes and discovers them almost accidentally. We will help tailor events to create a greater awareness of the banking industry’s transformation.”
The Arab banking system in Arab countries was stable and generally able to withstand shocks despite the world’s developments, challenges, and economic shocks from 2013 to 2021, according to the Financial Stability Report in Arab Countries for 2022, published by Arab Monetary Fund, which also said that the banking system in Arab countries has achieved good levels of capital, liquidity, asset quality, and profitability.
The report explained that the Arab banking sector has high solvency that is higher than the international target of 10.5 percent set by the Basel III standard, indicating its ability to absorb any potential losses.
The average solvency ratio of Arab banks reached 17.8 percent in 2021 and 2020, up from 17.7 percent in 2019, compared to 16.9 percent in 2018.
The Arab banking sector maintained as per the report, good levels of loan provisions as a result of the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS9) by many Arab countries, which resulted in improved bank strength and solvency, hedging potential shocks, and improving the quality of this sector’s assets.
Established on March 13, 1973, the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) was created in accordance with its first General Assembly meeting held in Beirut, Lebanon. It has 330 members from the banking industry in 22 Arab countries spread across Asia and African continents.