SCA Takes Part in the UN World Data Forum
SCA contributes largely to the development of the UAE government data system
SCA is developing an internal data analysis tool that uses open data
The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) took part in the UN World Data Forum opened in Dubai by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority. At the forum, the SCA delegation addressed the initiatives SCA introduced to enhance financial market transparency and disclosure and to ensure the provision of sufficient information and data to all market actors. The delegation also discussed SCA's cooperation projects with local and international entities to provide information and data to underpin economic growth and promote cross-border cooperation.
At the forum, Khalid Al Zaabi, Executive Director of Licensing, Supervision, and Compliance, made a presentation about SCA's efforts to develop the government data system and said that the law and regulations grant SCA the powers to impose data reporting requirements and request data from all participants in markets falling under its supervision.
Al Zaabi's presentation dealt with the significance of data from SCA's perspective, in that it helps investors to make informed decisions; promotes fair, efficient and transparent markets; enhances investor protection and participation; and provides the public with adequate financial and non-financial information to support their interest and encourage innovation.
The presentation gave an overview of SCA's Open Data Project, a project that aims to: (1) make information and data publicly available to everyone to access, reuse, and redistribute with no financial or legal restrictions; (2) make data accessible by all stakeholders on one easy-to-use platform; (3) enable customers to view, make use of, and occasionally provide feedback on regulatory policies and legislative activities; and (4) develop an open data platform, in accordance with the law and best practices.
Al Zaabi also provided examples of data reported by issuers, including audited financial statements, information about management, discussion of important risk factors, potential takeovers, and share dealings of directors.
Al Zaabi said that as part of its efforts to promote international cooperation on the exchange of data and information, SCA entered into an MMoU with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) for sharing data and information. It also signed forty-seven MoUs with counterparts and international institutions and signed another fifty-five MoUs with federal and local entities.
Furthermore, the presentation pointed out that in 2011, SCA implemented the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), a tool aimed to improve financial reporting and the exchange of financial information, in collaboration with the capital markets. This was a move to facilitate the full development of disclosure standards. The presentation said that SCA's new internal data analysis tool enables it to view all the details of its client companies, including the names of staff members and their financial transactions. This tool features a map of where the branches of these companies are and even allows SCA's departments to view their services and to filter them by status.
The presentation concluded with slides addressing the challenges facing data opening, such as what constitute private and public data when exchanging information; how to reach common standards for sharing information while the constitution, laws, and regulations differ from one jurisdiction to another; and the risks associated with opening more data to the public and experts and how these risks could be mitigated in light of the fast evolving technologies.