Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub connecting the region’s emerging markets with the markets of Asia, Europe and the Americas, recently hosted its third Knowledge Series event this year discussing the introduction of new markets rules as part of the new Markets Law 2012, which came into effect on 5th July, 2012.

Roberta Calarese, Chief Legal Officer DIFC Authority speaks during the Knowedge Series panel event.

In her opening remarks, Roberta Calarese, Chief Legal Officer, DIFC Authority said: “As DIFC continues to strengthen its position as global financial hub, we have an obligation to keep pace with how international markets are evolving. The new Markets Law is designed to further align this market with other international markets, particularly in Europe, and more broadly to give investors a greater degree of protection.”

In a panel moderated by Gerald Santing, Managing Director, Markets, Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the panellists discussed a number of significant changesbrought with the new Markets Law 2012, including changes to prospectus disclosure, what activities constitute an offer, market misconduct provisions, corporate governance and oversight of auditors.

As part of the changes, DFSA undertook regulatory oversight of auditors of publicly listed companies. This fulfils the EU requirement, which states that if the auditors of a listed company in an EU member state are from a jurisdiction outside the EU they must be overseen by a regulator of equivalent quality and status. Therefore, auditors of publicly listed companiesnow need to be registered with the DFSA before providing any assurance services to listed companies.

The event included presentations by Brad Douglas, Associate Director, Markets, DFSA; Craig Hewett, SVP – Head of Business Development, NASDAQ Dubai; and Naweed Lalani, Senior Manager, Supervision, DFSA. Brad and Craig were also in the panel discussion which also included Andrew Tarbuck, Partner, Latham & Watkins; Cristina de Torres, Capital Markets Director, PwC; and Rania Fathallah, Executive Director-Investment Banking, SHUAA Capital.

The Knowledge Series is an initiative by the DIFC intended to create dialogue between industry experts and DIFC members about interesting topics in the world of finance. The sessions are held regularly by DIFC to raise awareness about developments in market practices and regulation, and how DIFC’s clients can take maximum advantage from their presence in the centre and support DIFC’s continuing evolution as a global financial hub.


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