Arqaam Capital, an emerging market investment specialist, has announced its hosting of a GCC and Africa investors conference in Dubai that will bring together investors and corporates from the wider region to discuss their growth, funding and competitive strategies.

The conference will gather over 100 institutional investors such as sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and family groups, and has already confirmed the attendance of corporates including ERC, EK Holding, Fidson Healthcare, Co-operative Bank of Kenya, KNCB and Fidelity.

“Middle East and Africa equity markets have had an incredible run over the past 12 months, significantly outperforming the MSCI Emerging Markets Index,” said Riad Meliti, Arqaam CEO.

“We are confident that the economic fundamentals underpinning the region’s recent performance will ensure that this is not a blip but the start of long-term sustainable growth.”

Among the speeches and discussions covering areas of interest, a panel chaired by officials from exchange authorities will discuss a number of vital topics, including but not limited to deregulation of foreign ownership, the IPO pipeline and foreign access to local exchanges.

Meliti continued: “In this low interest rate environment and with the UAE and Qatar being upgraded to Emerging Market status by MSCI, there is a real appetite for exposure to our markets. Funds from around the world will be increasing their allocations to both countries.

“Investor sentiment towards the region hasn’t been this strong for a long time and this conference will provide the perfect environment for investors to learn more about the region’s leading companies.”

Arqaam Capital became the first Middle Eastern brokerage to join the Johannesburg stock exchange in January in order to widen its regional exposure and its role as an investment bridge to African opportunities by providing access to a wide pool of international investors.

At the time, the emerging markets investment bank currently covered 42 African companies and Meliti expressed his intention to increase that to 125 firms by the end of the year, with a focus on Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, alongside further plans to develop two more GCC-Africa funds.