DIFC Sponsors Fitch Ratings Organised Event

The Dubai International Financial Centre sponsored Fitch Ratings, Annual Middle East Seminar held at the Emirates Towers Hotel on 16th May. This was the first time Fitch Ratings has held the event in Dubai.

Sandy Shipton, Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) Head of Asset & Fund Management, addressed the high level audience attending the event titled ‘Middle East Credit Outlook 2005, Challenges for the regional financial sector and impact of Basle II’.

The seminar was attended by many luminaries from Dubai’s burgeoning financial services sector as well as the rest of the world. Mr Shipton gave a presentation entitled, ‘Opportunities for the regional financial sector.’

In addition to Mr Shipton’s presentation, the DIFC team conducted a workshop entitled, ‘Setting up at the DIFC – Your questions answered.’ The workshop took potential applicants and advisers through the mechanics of the authorisation process.

Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA) said,

‘All credible markets require intelligence to function properly and efficiently. Fitch Ratings has for many years been synonymous with accurate credit opinions and I am pleased that DIFC is sponsoring the event as well as contributing to the distinguished panel of presenters.

We support the development of a ratings industry within the DIFC and obviously would see Fitch as a key component of this.

We were also grateful for the chance to host a workshop. The application and approvals process at DIFC is straightforward, and we were delighted to get the chance to demonstrate this to delegates.”

Mr. Shipton commented,

“It is extremely gratifying to be asked to present at such a prestigious event. The support and interest shown by Fitch Ratings in what is going on in the region is a very important trend. We need to see a ratings industry develop here if we are to truly be on a par with other, more established financial centres, and I see Fitch’s investment in this event as a very good sign.”

I believe very firmly that the advent and development of the DIFC represents the greatest single opportunity the global financial services sector has had for some years and I was pleased to get the opportunity to explain this to the audience attending the event.”

In addition to Sandy Shipton, Senior members of Fitch’s European analytical teams addressed the select audience on issues that confront regional issuers, investors, research analysts, bankers and regulators today. Amongst the speakers from Fitch Ratings were Director, David Sweeney and Managing Director, Gerry Rawcliffe.

Fitch Ratings is dual-headquartered in New York and London, operating offices and joint ventures in more than 50 locations and covering entities in more than 80 countries. Fitch Ratings is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fimalac S.A., an international business support services group headquartered in Paris, France.

Fitch Ratings was founded in 1913 by John Knowles Fitch. It began as a publisher of financial statistics whose clients included the New York Stock Exchange. In 1924, Fitch introduced the now familiar "AAA" to "D" ratings scale to meet the growing demand for independent analysis of financial securities.

Fitch was one of the three rating agencies first recognized as a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO) by the Securities and Exchanges Commission in 1975.

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