Arab Federation of Exchanges (AFE) and MENA Fintech Association (MFTA) Sign MOU for the empowerment of fintech in Arab Capital Markets

Sunday 1 December 2019 – The Arab Federation of Exchanges (AFE) and the MENA Fintech Association (MFTA) today, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming at enhancing cooperation and empowerment of fintech in Arab Capital Markets.  

The AFE is the industry association with 16 exchanges and 4 clearing houses, in addition to several brokerage firms, collectively they are the home of over 1,590 listed corporates with a total equity market capitalization of $1.2 trillion. The Federation’s mission is to enhance transparency in the Arab capital markets, support members development, reduce barriers to cross-border trading in the region, and enable fintech empowerment among member exchanges.

While MFTA is a member-based association which was launched in the presence of 22 Arab regulators and is the voice of the FinTech community in MENA. Members range from global financial institutions, unicorn startups, leading service providers andcommunity members. MFTA is strategically working closely with the Arab Financial Regulators in developing a cogent regional fintech framework. MFTA works closely withwith global Fintech hubs to establish cross-border regulatory best practices exchange and Fintech trade. Organized and led by board members, strategic advisors from global financial institutions and key regulatory bodiesand focused committee chairs who care about the future of FinTech in MENA. 

Under the MoU, the AFE and MFTA have pledged to collaborate on ecosystem development initiatives for fintech startups and industry stakeholders, such as partnerships on accelerator programs, and capacity development, as well, may explore possible joint innovation projects on the application of key technologies such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and distributed ledgers, big data, flexible platforms (API), and other areas of new technologies. In addition to that, both AFE & MFTA would jointly design capacity building programs & certifications for AFE’s members and other players in Arabian exchanges markets (whether institutions or individuals).

In his remarks during the signing ceremony, Mr. Mohamed Farid Saleh, Chairman of the Arab Federation of Exchanges and The Executive Chairman of The Egyptian Exchange said: “Financial Technology is reshaping how businesses are being conducted, financial markets are no different to that.  Exchanges are on the crossroads of adopting financial technology as an enabler to investors, exchanges platforms and clearing houses to expand businesses and ensure the distribution of services of Capital Markets products.  Exchanges should choose from these technological advancements, adopt what is suitable for the exchange businesses to continue being at the forefront to technological advancements pertinent to capital markets as it has always been the case.”

 Mr. Rami El-Dokany, Secretary General of the Arab Federation of Exchanges said: “empowering fintech is no longer a choice to the financial markets, in such a competitive environment on limited funds, all players in the capital markets have to think differently on how to attract younger generations which are not enabled to access capital markets. Capacity building, training, and strategizing around fintech best practices, will be a priority on AFE’s agenda.”

Mr. Nameer Khan, Chairman of MENA Fintech Association said: " It is vital to practically stay committed to enable growth and structural development of the already evolved and further evolving space of financial services sector in the region. All in a well-regulated, innovative and an inclusive environment to ensure conduciveness in the ecosystem. Which requires key players in the Capital markets space to understand the opportunity based on the emergence of new asset classes and technological tools to further serve both institutional and retail customer with best in class services. The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the AFE’s board meeting, where AFE in collaboration with MFTA designed a specialized first of its kind- 2-days workshop for AFE members delivered by 961 Management on December 1-2, 2019.