Banker Magazine selects Central Bank Governor best in Middle East for 2019

January 6, 2019

Hashel succeeded in taking care of one of the world’s strongest banking sectors

KUWAIT: The Banker magazine, which specializes in financial and banking information, has elected the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) Governor Dr Mohammad Al-Hashel as the best central bank governor in the Middle East for 2019. The magazine published on its website yesterday its list of best central bankers around the world, with Croatian Boris Vujic as the European best.

Mexican Central Bank Governor Alejandro Diaz has been chosen as the best in the Americas and Malaysia’s Noor Shamsia was the best in Asia and the Pacific, and Morocco’s Abdullatif Al-Gohari was the best in Africa. “He is a rising star in the region as he took office in 2012 at the age of 37 and since then has managed the country’s financial sector and successfully navigated it to overcome a wide range of volatility and challenges that followed the crisis,” the magazine said on Hashel.

“Hashel has succeeded in taking care of one of the strongest banking sectors in the world. Today, Kuwaiti banks enjoy high rates of capitalization and profitability and are proud of the outstanding quality of their assets. This is largely due to Dr Hashel’s efforts to enhance the overall stability of the financial system,” it added. It noted that under the guidance of Hashel, the CBK improved its capital adequacy ratio to Kuwaiti banks at an average of 18.3 percent at the beginning of 2018.Furthermore, additional capital requirements were set for banks of systemic interest, while other financial safety indicators, Global standard.

The International Monetary Fund noted that the regulatory requirements in terms of costs and profits are estimated by the CBK and are periodically reassessed to increase flexibility and robustness in an efficient and rational manner. The magazine pointed to Kuwait’s growth as a center for Islamic finance, with Islamic financial assets accounting for 40 percent of the domestic banking sector, noting that the CBK launched in November 2018 the experimental regulatory environment to provide a secure environment for testing the innovations of modern financial technologies and services related to electronic payment systems.

This experimental control environment operates on four levels as the applications of financial techniques are first developed and evaluated by the Central Bank in terms of technical safety and then conform to the instructions and controls, the magazine said. The Banker is one of the oldest banking information centers established in 1926 and since then it has provided coverage, information, studies and reports on the banking sector with a 91-year-old credibility.

Supervisory achievements
In other news, Kuwait’s State Audit Bureau (SAB) said yesterday that many supervisory achievements were made during 2018 as part of its strategic vision (2016-2020) in monitoring public wealth. In a statement, SAB announced in its annual report of 2018 which highlights the results after examining and revision on the budgets of ministries and governmental managements is its leading achievement of the year. The bureau also showed that it published many supervisory reports such as ‘citizen’s report 2018,’ ‘risky subjects report’ and in addition to issuing three guides.
On the international level, the SAB said that it has won first place in the elections of Governing Board members of Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) in its 14th assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam last September. SAB’s report noted the participation in the higher financial and auditing bodies meeting at the UN headquarters in New York to achieve UN’s 2030 Vision of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In order to achieve its 3rd goal of its strategic plan, SAB have signed six cooperating agreements to develop means of communication and exchange knowledge and experiences. The report indicates that SAB hosted more than a dozen of international and regional events that are related to financial supervision contained many training programs and seminars presented by experts worldwide. The bureau affirmed that all of its achievements were the result of high efficiency institutional work which targets the latest developments in the world.

SAB visits Morocco
In other news, a delegation from SAB is seeking opportunities for knowledge exchange with their Moroccan partners as part of efforts to boost efficiency in inspection programs, said a pair of Kuwaiti auditors yesterday. The Kuwaiti contingent’s week-long visit to Morocco represents an earnest desire to gain some insight into the North African nation’s successful foray into renewable energy, Kuwaiti auditor Yaqoub Al-Terkait said. Such initiatives allow auditors from both nations to gain knowledge in new concepts, which in turn, will lead to more transparency in the audit sector, he added. Another Kuwait auditor, Fahad Al-Jamae, praised the Moroccans’ “success” in the field of renewable energy, saying the visit will prove mutually beneficial for state audit bodies in both countries. The Kuwaiti auditors plan to visit solar plants across Morocco in a bid to gain a first-hand view of how operations are handled in these renewable energy facilities, he pointed out.