Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Holding
Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Holding Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: EFG Hermes, a subsidiary of EFG Holding and the leading investment bank in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has joined hands with the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) to inaugurate the 18th annual EFG Hermes One-on-One Conference today. This event, recognized as the world's largest investment forum dedicated to MENA, is scheduled from March 4th to 7th, 2024, at the JW Marriott Hotel Marina (formerly Address Dubai Marina) in Dubai.

Themed "Exploring the Depth of FEM," this year's conference aims to delve into the inherent potential of the region, providing invaluable insights and networking opportunities for participants. By bringing together government officials, distinguished speakers, industry leaders, and investment experts, the conference will facilitate a series of meetings and presentations aimed at fostering dialogue and collaboration between the global investment community and listed companies in the region. This year’s conference will host over 216 companies from various key sectors across 29 countries engaging in direct meetings with over 670 institutional investors and fund managers representing 250 international institutions.

The conference’s main session will commence with a keynote from EFG Holding’s Group CEO, Karim Awad, followed by an interview with the main speaker, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, conducted by Sally Mousa, Senior Presenter at Forbes Middle East. This will be followed by a panel discussion titled ‘Beyond Automation: Harnessing AI, Transforming Industries for Growth and Efficiency’ featuring Wael Fakharany, CEO of Edenred UAE, and Renier Lemmens, Group CEO of Geidea, moderated by Patrick FitzPatrick, Editor-in-Chief and Managing Partner of The Enterprise Company. The session will conclude with the EFG Hermes live Research poll.

Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Holding, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are thrilled to once again host the landmark EFG Hermes One-on-One Conference, this year in collaboration with DFM. Partnering with the DFM further supports our mission, which revolves around our commitment to promoting investment opportunities in MENA markets and fostering impactful discussions that drive positive change. In a rapidly evolving world with the rise of new economic powerhouses, it is crucial for investors to delve into the depth and breadth of the regional markets, identifying promising opportunities and navigating potential challenges. The conference provides a platform for this exploration, bringing together industry leaders, investment experts, and policymakers to share insights, forge partnerships, and set the course for sustainable growth.”

In 2023, economic performance across the MENA region faced formidable challenges, exacerbated by global headwinds, domestic obstacles, and geopolitical tensions. With lower oil production and stringent policy measures in emerging markets, growth slowed to a modest 2.0%. Looking ahead to 2024, the outlook remains uncertain, with a projected growth downgrade to 2.9%, reflecting ongoing complexities. To navigate this landscape, structural reforms are deemed imperative for both short-term growth and long-term resilience, highlighting the critical necessity for concerted efforts to bolster economic vitality and fortify against future challenges.

Mohamed Ebeid, Co-CEO of EFG Hermes, an EFG Holding Company, commented, “I am proud to see our investment conference continuously serve as a vital bridge connecting investors with promising opportunities in MENA. Year after year, our growing roster of listed companies reflecting the increasing ECM activity in the region benefits immensely from gaining access to premium investments from some of the world's heavyweight investment institutions. This not only provides them with stability but also empowers their growth potential, ultimately shaping a brighter future for the regional economy. Moreover, the One-on-One conference always serves as the ultimate one-stop-shop for investors to gain access to the region's most compelling companies. By fostering direct interactions and relationships, we facilitate a seamless exchange of ideas and opportunities, propelling both investors and companies towards mutual success.”

Attendees can expect a comprehensive program featuring keynote speeches, panel discussions, and networking sessions covering various topics pertinent to MENA. From investment trends to regulatory developments, the conference will provide attendees with valuable insights to navigate these dynamic markets successfully.