Who Owns Corporate Governance in the Middle East?

In the Arab world, corporate governance standards emerged initially in the banking sector as banks were – and to this day remain – the most important financial sector institutions in the region, while capital markets have been slower to develop. Securities regulators in the region started to pay attention to corporate governance 15 years ago when Oman and Egypt introduced first corporate governance codes aimed at listed companies. Since then, all countries in the first region except Iraq have introduced and revised their corporate governance codes, most of which now apply to listed companies on a comply-or-explain basis.

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