AFCM Annual Conference - Oman 2023



The AFCM Annual Conference, the largest event for stock exchanges and capital markets in the Arab world, is a distinguished platform that gathers leaders from across the Arab capital markets industry, to exchange ideas and visions on the most suitable means to provide key opportunities and the ideal environment to promote the growth of the Arabian capital market ecosystem, in addition to enhancing integration and liquidity among exchanges across the region. The conference seeks to bring the interests of the Arab capital markets to life on all levels, boosting cooperation and coordinating efforts to ultimately enhance liquidity and motivate companies, in an effort to develop and enhance the region›s capital markets.


In 2023, the Arab Federation of Capital Markets (AFCM) will be hosting its 2-day physical annual conference on the 9th and 10th of May 2023 in Muscat. The Annual Conference, will be hosted by Muscat Stock Exchange, with 11 sessions and 50+ speakers, shedding light on various topics related to capital markets from sustainability, carbon credits and climate change, IR & ESG practices, to Islamic capital markets and Fintech, to discuss the means of exchanging knowledge and expertise and enhance the opportunities to market listed companies across the region to investors, particularly foreign investors, to benefit respective economies of Arab states.





09:00 — 10:00

Opening Ceremony

10:00 — 10:45

Panel 1  Future of Business: Spotlight on Oman

10:55 — 11:10

Startup Demo 1

11:15 — 12:00

Panel 2 – The Race to Zero: Challenges & Opportunities 

  • Facts to know about the race to zero: What are its aims & how can listed companies and businesses get involved?
  • What are the benefits to businesses that join the race to zero?
  • Overviewing main initiatives: UN-Convened net-zero asset owner alliance & the net zero asset managers initiative.
  • How asset owners can go from net zero to climate leadership?
  • Sharing the progress achieved and challenges we still face.
 12:00 — 12:30

Coffee Break

 12:30 — 13:15

 Panel 3 – Carbon Markets and Trading: To Work on the Path to Net Zero?

  • What is a carbon market? Compliance carbon markets (CCMs) vs voluntary carbon markets (VCMs)?
  • What are the challenges and opportunity of carbon markets?
  • How to assess the feasibility and attractiveness of carbon markets?
  • Do carbon markets drive climate change mitigation? What role for carbon taxes in reducing gas emissions?
  • How carbon allowances could help investors manage climate transition risks?
  • Where is Africa in the race to net-zero? Projections by climate action show that Africa has enormous untapped potential in reforestation: if it could sell carbon removal at US$50/ton, up to US$ 15 billion of annual revenue could be generated on the continent, creating 35 million–86 million jobs, and enormous livelihood improvement in the process.
13:25 — 14:10

Panel 4 – Carbon Credit: Financing the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy

  • How to prepare your business for the transition to low-carbon?
  • What is carbon finance: is it the driver for green innovation? 
  • What type of projects does sustainable/green finance support? 
  • How to finance the energy transition in a low-cost renewables environment through carbon credits?
  • How to participate in carbon finance and who sets the rules?
  • Other sustainable finance options: increasing and reallocating climate-related ODA, enhancing the role of IFIs, reallocating more SDRs to accelerate green transitions, etc…
 14:10 — 15:15

Lunch Break

 15:15 — 15:30

Startup Demo 2

15:35 — 16:20

Panel 5 – Navigating a Challenging PIPE Market and Alternative De-SPAC Financing Structures

  • Trends in De-SPAC PIPEs, including increased use of convertible debt and convertible preferred equity: Forward purchases, Backstop agreements, Sponsor participation in PIPEs and backstop.
  • Deal protections to ensure closing & cash certainty in De-SPAC transactions: Bridging the cash gap amid a tightening PIPE market, limiting redemptions in a bearish SPAC market, managing market volatility between signing and closing, closing conditions and termination rights.
  • Evolution of the De-SPAC Process: Why successful sponsors need to truly understand the target’s industry? What are the effective communication tactics for SPAC shareholders, institutional investors, employees, business partners, and media? How to establish proactive investor relations strategies as stock transition begins?

Gala Dinner








9:00 — 9:45

Panel 6 – Integrating IR & ESG to Maximize Value: Setting Priorities

  • Overviewing the regulatory environment, including ESG guidelines and reporting, and explaining ESG and the investment story.
  • IR in practice: how to effectively integrate ESG and IR, from setting strategy to day-to-day program execution, in order to satisfy the rapidly evolving and diverse ESG information requirements of the global investment community.
  • How to effectively integrate ESG and IR in support of your company’s market valuation and ability to access capital during today’s challenging times.
  • What are the key metrics (KPIs) for IROs to measure their IR success?
  • How to establish KPIs and benchmark an IR Program?
9:55 — 10:10

Startup Demo 3

11:15 — 12:00

Panel 7 – ESG Regulation, Data & TCFD Reporting: Enabling Investors to Shape Investment Strategies

  • How is the current regulation serving the investor? Exploring the pros and cons to the investor of the current regulation. Overcoming the challenges to investor benefit that the regulatory framework may bring. How can a retail investor gain the information they need as quickly as possible to make investment decisions? How additional resource to service data is impacting fees?
  • Building a risk-aware strategy for TCFD reporting: Compliance challenges and risks with the TCFD disclosure. The importance of transparency and how to achieve it? How to produce sustainability reports with the same rigor, assurance and global comparability as annual financial reports.
  • Data collection and deployment: Finding data to demonstrate sustainability of investments, exploring the volume and depth of data collection that analysts require, meeting the ongoing cost of data acquisition and calculation. How data providers are prioritizing their data collation initiatives? Understanding the current use of estimates to bridge data gaps: Where the current biggest gaps for data collection exist?
11:00 — 11:15

Coffee Break

 11:15 — 12:00

 Panel 8 – Perpetual KYC is the Future: The Journey to a Digital Operating Model

  • What is pKYC and what are the key considerations to successfully achieve pKYC?
  • What are the advantages: Reduced operating cost, elimination of lengthy time-consuming manual tasks, Improved accuracy and quality?
  • Do the benefits extend beyond managing risk to open revenue generation opportunities in truly knowing your customer?
  • Implementing pKYC with Intelligent Automation makes managing the entire customer lifecycle as painless as possible?
  • What are the challenges that might hinder pKYC adoption?
  • Automated AML/KYC - is it enough to stop the fraudsters and the fines?
12:05 — 12:20

Startup Demo 4

12:25 — 13:10

Panel 9 – Fostering Islamic Capital Markets for Sustainable and Responsible Investments

  • How to connecting Islamic capital market to shape a sustainable future? How to create a resilient and sustainable Islamic capital market? How to structure green and sustainable Sukuk? How to connect social financial products to Islamic capital market?
  • Financial Inclusion and Islamic Finance: Approaches and current practices. The solution for enhancing inclusion Islamic finance and the challenge of incorporating more inclusive offerings.
  • Financial inclusion and Shariah arrangements in protecting consumers: striking the balance in consumer protection developing regulations with robust supervision designing effective consumer protection infrastructure for financial inclusion.
  • Facilitating the growth of Islamic microfinance, SMEs and Microtakaful Diversity in Islamic microfinance programmes and models. Are SMEs responsive to poverty alleviation and financial inclusion initiatives accelerating development with expanded coverage through Microtakaful?
13:10 — 14:10

Lunch Break

15:35 — 16:20

Panel 10 – Market Indexation: The Best Business Model to Generate Revenues?

  • How indexing works?
  • The next generation of indexing strategy: direct and custom indexing?
  • What are the key considerations to direct and custom indexing?
  • What are the advantages of offering direct and custom indexing?
  • What about the technology and operation consideration for offering indexing?
  • The dark side of direct indexing: The risks of tax-loss harvesting?
  • Can custom ESG indexing challenge the popularity of ETFs?
15:05 — 15:20

Startup Demo 5


Panel 11 – CCP Risk Management in a Fat-Tailed World

  • Are we assuming CCPs should underwrite risk without limit? Would alternative financial resources for CCP resolution be an option? When instead of risk we face uncertainty, are prescriptive approaches effective?
  • Mitigating margin procyclicality: How APC measures implemented by CCPs were effective during COVID-19.
  • CCPs, derivatives, and climate risk: To what extent climate risks relate to the CCP’s risk management models and strategies? What specific aspects, if any, are particularly relevant or different for CCPs? Which derivative products could be more affected?
  • CCPs contribution to mitigating systemic risk: How to strike the right balance to align the incentives of market participants with the social objective of financial stability, without impairing the objective and benefits of central clearing? Do new clearing models change the calculus? How can we get a better picture of risk across the system as a whole, rather than purely within the centrally cleared sector?
16:15 — 16:30

Closing Ceremony