Nasser Al-Shaali was appointed Chairperson of the Board of Directors of HSBC Bank Egypt as of 22 September.
In his first interview since taking office, Al-Shaali said that Egypt is a very dynamic market with great potential, and is also one of the main arteries for the flow of global trade, making it an attractive destination for international investors.
He added: “We helped Egypt to structure and launch the first sovereign green finance instrument – the first of its kind in the Middle East, and our global footprint enabled us to connect Egypt with foreign investors and international capital markets.”
Al Shaali has 22 years of experience in executive positions covering strategic planning, financial sector development and regulation, financial infrastructure, corporate restructuring, financial planning, information technology and marine manufacturing.
“I look forward to supporting the bank during its next phase of growth at such an exciting time in Egypt’s development,” Al-Shaali told Daily news Egypt.
He added: “My focus as a chairperson of the bank is on effective board governance and working with the executive team to deliver the bank’s growth strategy and ambitions.”
First, we would like to get to know you closely, especially with regards to your previous fields of work?
I have 22 years of experience in Executive roles covering strategic planning, financial sector development and regulation, financial infrastructure, corporate restructuring, financial planning, information technology and marine manufacturing.
I am a graduate of the American University in Washington with a double major in Philosophy and International Relations in 1998.
I began my professional life at Dubai Internet City in 2000, then I joined the Dubai International Financial Exchange in 2004 as Chief Operating Officer. In 2006 I was appointed as CEO of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). I became a member of HSBC Middle East Holdings Board of Directors in 2020 and I am also currently an Executive Director at Stra-tical Associates in Dubai, a boutique advisory firm.
I also served as CEO of Gulf Craft, a boat and yacht manufacturer, after the financial crisis, turning around the firm to establish it as a top 10 global yacht manufacturer.
What made you accept the role of HSBC Egypt Chairperson?
Egypt is a very dynamic market with great potential. Egypt was one of the few emerging market economies to record positive economic growth in 2020 and it was the only country in Africa and the Middle East that maintained its credit rating with a stable outlook by all three major international credit rating agencies – Moody’s, Fitch and S&P.
HSBC Group has put the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region at the heart of its strategic growth agenda, and Egypt is a very important market. We have ambitious plans for growth as we deliver on our purpose of opening up a world of opportunity – for the customers and communities we serve, and for our colleagues.
I am looking forward to supporting the bank through its next phase of growth at such an exciting time in Egypt’s development.
HSBC Egypt has been in Egypt for almost 40 years now and we have a unique market position. In Egypt, we have the strongest international footprint – we cover more than 90% of world GDP, trade and capital flows – which means we are able to connect customers with individual retail accounts to large corporations, and government entities to global investment opportunities.
How do you see your role as a chairperson? And what can you bring to the bank and the Egyptian market during the coming period?
My focus as chairperson is on effective board governance and working with the executive team on delivering the bank’s growth strategy and ambitions. Also, it is imperative to ensure that the board has appropriate visibility into the organisation and the right level of discussions regarding the bank’s agenda, strategic matters, and performance reviews.
This is a very dynamic process to make sure that we continue to evaluate the things we do and have an optimal strategy for the future.
A critical priority for me is our people agenda; that we continue to invest in, attract and retain the best talent in the market; and that our colleagues play a meaningful role in our future, at every stage of their career with us.
It is a real privilege to work with Todd Wilcox, HSBC Egypt Deputy Chairperson and CEO, along with the leadership team. I believe that we have the right leadership team with the right capabilities that will deliver sustainable growth.
The bank played a strong role in supporting Egypt to attract FDIs over past years. Do you expect this role to be stronger in the coming future?
Our appointment on important transactions in Egypt demonstrates our long-term commitment to our clients and the country.
We are proud to have played a part in attracting significant foreign capital into Egypt over many years. Todd and his team are building further on this track record.
Egypt is one of the main arteries for the flow of global trade, which makes it an attractive destination for international investors.
Transformational infrastructure projects, including the New Administrative Capital and the Suez Canal Economic Zone, are stimulating investment. This is an area of strength for us, given our role as the largest international bank operating in the country. Our Global footprint enables us to connect Egypt to foreign investors and international capital markets, which makes HSBC a key enabler for the Government of Egypt’s drive to attract inward investment.
Our ability to connect Egyptian entrepreneurs to global opportunities is equally as important, as we help Egypt’s businesses to grow regionally and beyond.
Sustainable Finance represents a great opportunity. HSBC is committed to playing a leading role in mobilising the transition to a global net-zero economy, not just by financing it, but by helping to shape and influence the global policy agenda. Egypt’s Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030 means that we both recognise the critical importance of the sustainability agenda.
We helped Egypt in structuring and launching its first sovereign Green Financing instrument – the first of its kind in the Middle East, and I believe that our role will become more vital in the future in supporting the country’s sustainable development and also in helping businesses in their journeys to lower carbon emissions.