The SCA joined the International Organization for Securities Commissions (IOSCO) in 2003 as an ordinary member. The IOSCO is recognized as the global standard setter for the securities sector.
The SCA’s membership of IOSCO helps the former to capitalize on the international experience in financial market development and on the international standards set by the IOSCO.
The SCA also plays an active role in interacting with the IOSCO by participating in the latter’s meetings and responding to its requests, including surveys and sharing of viewpoints on issues raised by the IOSCO, seeking the views of its members. It’s worth noting here that the SCA is a member of IOSCO's Presidential Committee, Growth and Emerging Markets Committee and Africa and Middle East Committee.
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), established in 1983, is the acknowledged international body that brings together the world's securities regulators and is recognized as the global standard setter for the securities sector. IOSCO develops, implements, and promotes adherence to internationally recognized standards for securities regulation, and is working intensively with the G20 and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on the global regulatory reform agenda.
IOSCO's membership regulates more than 95% of the world's securities markets. Its members include 129 securities regulators and 80 other securities markets participants (i.e. stock exchanges, financial regional and international organizations, etc.). IOSCO is the only international financial regulatory organization which includes all the major emerging markets jurisdictions within its membership.
The member agencies currently assembled together in the International Organization of Securities Commissions have resolved, through its permanent structures:
• to cooperate in developing, implementing and promoting adherence to internationally recognized and consistent standards of regulation, oversight and enforcement in order to protect investors, maintain fair, efficient and transparent markets, and seek to address systemic risks;
• to enhance investor protection and promote investor confidence in the integrity of securities markets, through strengthened information exchange and cooperation in enforcement against misconduct and in supervision of markets and market intermediaries;
• to exchange information at both global and regional levels on their respective experiences in order to assist the development of markets, strengthen market infrastructure and implement appropriate legislations.
In October 2012, the SCA received an invitation to sign IOSCO’s multi-lateral memorandum of understanding (MMoU), having met all the necessary requirements of the MMoU. Signing the MMoU is now one of the major criteria being used by international financial and investment institutions in classifying financial markets of the world. It is also a significant international recognition which reflects the strength of the legislative and regulatory frameworks of the UAE's financial markets. This reflects positively on the level of local and foreign investor confidence and enhances the attraction of UAE's markets to foreign investment.
The MMoU represents a common understanding amongst its signatories of how they will consult, cooperate, and exchange information for securities regulatory enforcement purposes. The MMoU itself sets out the specific requirements for what information can be exchanged and how it is to be exchanged; legal ability to compel information; types of information that can be compelled; legal ability to share information; and permissible uses of information. It also sets out specific requirements regarding the confidentiality of the information exchanged.
Further information about IOSCO can be accessed from the latter’s website: www.iosco.org
Agreement was reached to establish a union that would bring together all Arab market regulators to help boost Arab economic development and integration through achieving harmony and conformity of their market regulations and laws, and improving their market legislation and regulation standards to ensure equity, efficiency and transparency.
The UASA facilitates cooperation in regulating public securities issuances and promotes the setting up and development of specialized financial services companies, including marketing agents of new issuances. It also promotes joint trading and listing in Arab markets, boosts intra-Arab investments and spreads investment awareness among all investors in all its member states.
UASA seeks to:
• Achieve the highest levels of coordination in order to protect market efficiency and safe transactions in Arab securities markets; share information, technical assistance and special expertise in order to support Arab markets development; and put in place effective regulatory rules for those markets.
• Unify efforts to achieve highly efficient market supervision in member states and promote cooperation and collaboration among members concerning relevant market regulations and laws to achieve maximum harmony among them.
• Surmount Arab investment obstacles, expand Arab investment base and diversify its tools, in addition to improving the performance level of Arab securities sector and encouraging joint listing and trading in Arab markets.
On 30 January 2007, UASA's founding meeting was held in Abu Dhabi in which heads and officials of market regulators of Jordan, UAE, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt took part.
The UAE initiated the call to have such an organization in order to have a professional umbrella and mechanism that will help boost Arab economic development and integration through achieving harmony and conformity of Arab financial markets rules and regulations; improve the legislative and organizational standards of those markets in a way that would ensure equity, efficiency and transparency; and promote the sharing of information and expertise among member states.
It is also to help develop capital market regulatory criteria to ensure safe and efficient market transactions, facilitate the means of cooperation in organizing public issuance of securities, promote joint listing and trading on Arab markets to boost intra-Arab investments and spread investment awareness in all member states and participate as a bloc in related regional and international conferences and fora.
The SCA participates in all UASA events and provides the organization with continuous support, including hosting the UASA's secretariat at its Dubai office building.
All UASA-related information can be accessed through its website:
Article (5) of the economic agreement concerning the boosting of investment environment among GCC countries states the following:
“With the aim of developing local, foreign and intra-GCC investments , and in order to create a transparent and stable investment environment, member states have agreed to take the following measures:
1. Unify their investment-related regulations and laws.
2. Give equal national treatment to investment owned by natural persons and corporate entities of GCC nationality.
3. Integrate GCC financial markets and unify their policies and regulations.
4. Adopt unified standards and criteria in accordance with the charter of the GCC Standardization Organization.
Whereas the GCC agreement on procedures for achieving the “Integration of GCC financial markets and the unification of their policies and regulations” requires the setting up of a ministerial committee consisting of board chairpersons of market regulators of GCC member states, which shall make and refer recommendations directly to the GCC Supreme Council through the ministerial council, the latter has issued during its 115th session held on May 2010 in Saudi Arabia, a resolution to set up a permanent ministerial committee made up of board chairpersons of market regulators of GCC member states.
The committee, which will make recommendations to the ministerial council, shall have the following mandate:
• Unifying market-related policies and regulations for achieving integration, in implementation of clause (3) of Article (5) of the GCC economic agreement and all resolutions issued by the GCC Supreme Council and those to be issued later in this regard.
• Achieving the requirements of GCC Common Market and the content of Article (3) which states that: “Citizens of GCC member states – natural persons and corporate entities – shall enjoy same treatment in their host country as the citizens of that state, without discrimination in all economic aspects, including trading in stocks and bonds.
Meanwhile, the committee of board chairpersons of GCC market regulators has held its first meeting on 31st March 2010 in Riyadh and made the following recommendations:
1. The need to set up a permanent ministerial committee consisting of board chairpersons of market regulators of GCC member states. The committee, which shall make recommendations to the ministerial council, shall have the authority mentioned above.
2. The need to set up a high-level committee consisting of chief executive officers of GCC market regulators (or their equivalents) to recommend the necessary mechanisms for implementing the ministerial committee’s tasks and plan of action within a timeframe that will lead to achieving the integration of GCC markets.
The committee of chief executive officers of GCC market regulators (or their equivalents) held its first meeting in Riyadh on 20 – 21 June 2010 during which the committee discussed among other things an Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority's (SCA) proposal concerning GCC markets integration and unification of the policies and regulations of those markets. In response to this proposal, a number of working teams were set up to discuss all aspects of integration of the financial markets and to lay down the rules for governing them.
The SCA, which is a member in all the working teams, has presented many initiatives during the meetings of the teams. Following are some of the SCA initiatives.
• Proposal for GCC markets integration and unification of policies and regulations.
• Proposal for the restructuring of financial regulatory systems.
• Unified rules for listing of stocks on GCC securities markets.
• Unified rules for listing of bonds and Sukuk on GCC securities markets.
• Unified rules for listing of mutual fund units on GCC securities markets.
• Unified rules for issuance and offering of shares on GCC securities markets.
• Unified rules for offering of bonds and Sukuk on GCC securities markets.
• A working paper on structuring financial regulatory system.
• A working paper on Training and Research at the Financial Markets.
• Organized an annual conference to discuss an issue of great interest to the legislative and regulatory bodies of GCC financial markets. This was in response to a decision by the committee of chief executive officers of GCC market regulators.
• Proposing a sample report concerning the updates and developments in GCC financial markets.
• Proposing a sample periodic report about the level of progress in the implementation of unified rules for listing of securities and a proposal on how to improve and develop the format.
• A working paper on Relationship and Coordination between the Regulators and Financial Markets.
• Organized a workshop for representatives of market regulators from GCC member states to showcase its XBRL experience. The theme of the workshop was “Financial Statement Transparency Using the XBRL”
The SCA is an associate member of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), which was set up in 2002, but became actively operational as of 10th March 2003.
It serves as an international standard-setting body of regulatory and supervisory agencies that have vested interest in ensuring the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry, which is defined broadly to include banking, capital market and insurance. In advancing this mission, the IFSB promotes the development of a prudent and transparent Islamic financial services industry through introducing new, or adapting existing international standards consistent with Shariah principles, and recommend them for adoption.
To this end, the work of the IFSB complements that of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, International Organization of Securities Commissions and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors.
As of December 2013, the 185 members of the IFSB comprise 56 regulatory and supervisory authorities, eight international inter-governmental organizations and 122 market players, professional firms and industry associations operating in 45 jurisdictions.
More information about IFSB can be accessed online through: www.ifsb.org
The SCA is a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) since 2009. ANNA, which was set up under Belgian Law in 1991, has members comprising of national numbering agencies accredited by local regulatory bodies.
Only one agency is allowed ANNA membership from a jurisdiction. ANNA is committed to activating its ISO 6166 quality standardization and other criteria as may be amended from time to time. It also provides international securities identification number (ISIN) to its members, in particular and to all those with interest in the securities industry, in general, for use in trading of securities and other transactions in the securities industry.
More information about ANNA can be accessed online through: www.anna-web.com/index.php