24th March 2020
InterContinental Festival City, Dubai


5th November 2019

Registration and coffee
Session ends: 08:50
Chairman’s opening remarks
Session ends: 09:00
Macroeconomics, geo-politics and government spending - impact on CAPEX and investment across the GCC in 2020 and beyond
  • The economists’ forecast – what are the expectations for interest rates, oil prices, global and regional geo-politics in 2020?
  • How are growing macroeconomic volatilities impacting the spending plans of GCC governments into 2020?
  • How will public spending across the region impact project CAPEX and investment requirements?
  • Strategic focus: What sectors are going to attract the bulk of government financing? What will this mean for investment into ‘non-strategic’ sectors?
  • Does the return in oil prices mean continued investment in diversification and how does this impact project financing models?
Session ends: 09:45
The take-off of the PPP market - trends, opportunities and challenges
  • Spotlight on the wave of Saudi PPPs and privatisations: How is the modernisation vision turning into reality?
  • Efficient risk allocation between private and public – is there a formula for success?
  • Streamlining processes – what do procurers need to do to successfully execute PPP frameworks?
  • Which sectors are most receptive to the PPP model? How can PPP financings be implemented across a spectrum of industries?
Session ends: 10:30
Coffee and networking
Session ends: 11:00
Bridging the gap between loan tenors and project lifecycles in the structured finance market: How can developers, sponsors and contractors secure credit lines beyond the 7 year mark?
  • How are the increasing size and scale of projects changing funding requirements?
  • The arguments for and against structured finance: Pricing, tenor and liquidity benefits vs costs of structuring
  • How will the increasing consolidation across the GCC banking sector impact the syndicated loan market dynamics?
  • How can developers leverage off existing assets to raise new capital?
  • Resolving legal challenges around structured finance – what can be improved to make jurisdictions structured finance friendly?
  • Developing the local structured finance expertise – key to making banks and developers comfortable with long-term project risk?
  • Challenges to completing structured finance deals – what were the issues and how can they be successfully resolved?
Session ends: 11:45
Financing MEA’s solar and water projects: How can the structures used to successfully finance Abu Dhabi’s pipeline be applied elsewhere in the region?
  • Analysing the structures used to develop Abu Dhabi’s solar and water projects - why and how did they become a crucial success factor for reaching financial closure?
  • A look into the pipeline: What are the plans of the region’s leading players for 2020 and beyond?
  • Lessons learnt: How did Abu Dhabi’s developers deal with the challenges they were faced with during project development?
  • Abu Dhabi’s solar and water projects as a template for success: How can the success of the structures utilised be exported to other geographies across the Middle East and Africa?
Session ends: 12:30
Monetising the GCC’s hydrocarbon wealth: Downstream projects inside and outside the region
  • How are the region’s oil champions managing their investments into downstream projects?
  • Assessing downstream investments by major players in each region outside their borders: Asia, EMEA and the US. How can the GCC capitalise on trends in the downstream market?
  • Project financing downstream projects in the GCC and Asia: key lessons learned from recent megaprojects.
Session ends: 13:15
Networking lunch hosted by ACWA Power
Session ends: 14:45
Spotlight on Egypt: The private sector’s perspective on the bankability of projects
  • What opportunities are the government’s PPP agenda creating for private sector involvement in upcoming projects?
  • The Business case for commercial lenders to follow IFIs and DFIs into Egyptian projects
  • How are local developers working with regional and international sponsors? How are they funding their operations?
  • Assessing banks’ appetite for Egypt: How much capital are regional and international banks planning to inject into the market in 2020?
Session ends: 15:30
The Africa–GCC corridor: How can African countries leverage the GCC’s project finance market to import funding structures in the long-term?
  • North, South, East, West: Where and what are the opportunities for GCC developers and sponsors on the African continent?
  • A view from the ground: What are the key risk factors in developing projects across Africa?
  • Managing long-term project risk in a context of political instability: What are the funding structures and sources developers rely on when working with transitional governments?
  • How can high growth trajectory North African economies leverage the GCC’s project finance landscape to import long-term financing models?
  • How can frontier African markets import finance solutions from the GCC? Is that sustainable or do they need to develop grassroots structures?
Session ends: 16:15
Funding CAPEX and projects in the ‘green age’: Why developing green finance is essential for securing long-term capital across MEA
  • Banks and investors are increasingly looking at ESG as a core criterion: What do sponsors, corporates and developers need to do to improve ESG scores? What are the expectations reality?
  • Assessing performance of green vs conventional bonds in the secondary market
  • What are the challenges and opportunities for the development of the green bond market in the Middle East?
  • Benefits of going green – how can developers’ access better pricing, tenors and liquidity by incorporate ESG practices? Are the additional reporting requirements of issuing green bonds justified?
  • Local, regional, international – who are the investors looking to buy green bonds? How much liquidity can GCC developers access by going green?
  • Green champions: What countries and sectors are paving the way in sustainable financing?
  • Market disruption: Is the emergence of ‘green washed’ loans going to undermine the development of the green financing market?
Session ends: 17:00
Chairman’s closing remarks followed by networking cocktail reception hosted by Shearman & Sterling

6th November 2019

Registration and coffee
Session ends: 09:10
Chairman’s opening remarks
Session ends: 09:15
Saudi’s PPP programme: How is the modernisation vision turning into reality?
  • Pipeline of PPPs and privatisations: What is coming online in what sectors and how much capital is needed to finance projects?
  • How is the NCP reforming companies/assets before privatisation and issuing bonds/sukuk? How are non-power/water projects being developed to meet international standard risk allocation?
Session ends: 09:35
Spotlight on Oman’s new PPP law: Projects in the pipeline and priority sectors
  • What is the mandate of the newly created Public Authority for Privatization and Partnerships
  • How is Oman’s new PPP law planning to encourage private sector involvement?
  • An overview of Oman’s project pipeline
  • What sectors is the government prioritising?
Session ends: 09:55
North Africa & the Levant: Long term transformations, economic fundamentals & politics
  • China’s New Silk Road will transform trade and investment patterns. Who benefits most?
  • The Arab Spring Six Years On: Progress or Regress?
Session ends: 10:15
Coffee and networking
Session ends: 10:45
Funding MENA’s renewable energy future: How is the increasing shift to sustainable energy impacting investment into renewable projects?
  • Renewables around the globe: What can the Middle East learn from developments in Europe, Asia and the US?
  • Power Offtake Agreements: Government Utilities, Corporate Off-takers or Merchant Power – what are the benefits/pitfalls?
  • Structured finance, project finance, funding at the corporate level: What markets work best for financing long-term renewable projects?
  • Technological innovation: What new investment opportunities are the development of the region’s energy storage capabilities creating?
  • Legal issues for developing renewable projects across MENA’s jurisdictions – how can developers and sponsors prepare to successfully tackle regulatory complexities
  • What challenges does the continuously low price of renewable energy create for the energy market?
Session ends: 11:30
Optimising trade finance efficiency and performance: What products and solutions are borrowers using to raise and free-up working capital?
  • The US-China trade conflict - implications on trade finance globally and in the GCC. What sectors can gain from global trade disruptions?
  • USD, Euro, Yuan – how are GCC Treasurers managing a basket of different currencies?
  • How are GCC borrowers using trade finance to free up working capital and improve cash efficiency?
  • What are the short-term funding sources GCC borrowers use to increase cash flow? What structures are optimal to meet their needs?
  • Efficiency across the supply chain: How can buyers and sellers manage the mismatch between payment for and provision of goods?
Session ends: 12:15
Closing keynote speech: Expanding mandates and the emergence of local ECAs: How are ECAs differentiating their product and service offerings in an increasingly competitive market space?
  • How much capital are international ECAs committing to the MENA region over the next 12 months? How have their terms and requirements changed in light of increasing competition?
  • What is driving the establishment of local ECAs across the GCC? What mandate do they have?
  • How will the emergence of local ECAs impact the number of funding options available for sponsors and developers?
  • What sectors and geographies are local and international ECAs focusing on in 2020?
  • The selection process – how do ECAs differentiate their products and services? What new solutions are the developing to allow them to take on more project risk?
  • Securing ECA-backed funding as an EPC - does partnering with an export credit agency give a contractor/supplier a competitive advantage during the bidding process?
Session ends: 12:45
Chairman’s closing remarks followed by close of conference and networking lunch hosted by ACWA Power