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Eastern influence: Dr Shaban discusses corporate finance for SMEs in Asia

Reader in Finance at the Management School, Dr Mohamed Shaban, is making an impression in Asian finance networks.

His research into corporate finance, with a particular focus on funding availability for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Asia, has seen him deliver a series of high-level keynotes across the continent.

Following on from a successful conference in Brunei, hosted by the International Finance and Banking Society (IFABS), of which he is vice-president, Mohamed travelled to the island of Lombok, Indonesia, to address the BPK which is the supreme audit board of Indonesia – responsible for auditing state-owned government entities (pictured below, left). The international seminar reviewed the efficiency and financial stability of their local development bank – he spoke on its importance and how it should contribute to local economies by supporting SMEs.

Similar to other emerging economies, the Indonesian economy faces challenges of weak institutions, weak law enforcement, corruption and politically directed lending. The BPK is using Mohamed’s research to conduct an efficiency audit on Indonesian banks.

BPK_Indo-lombok ADBI-Japan 1 China-talk

In October, Mohamed was invited to Tokyo to deliver a keynote speech at an international conference hosted by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI, pictured above centre), the research arm of the Asian Development Bank. Amongst other research, policy makers and industry experts he discussed the lack of access to lending for micro-SMEs (MSMEs) in Asia – a key area of development as sustainable capacity building becomes core to future prosperity. Mohamed proposed that the ADBI would benefit from creating local units which deal directly with MSMEs; with this, a dialogue between banks and organisations will begin – reducing banks’ perception of entrepreneurs as agents and reluctance to lend, whilst increasing trust, quality and frequency of reporting.

A further suggestion from Mohamed proposes that SMEs employs or train managers, arguing that the entrepreneur lacks managerial experience. Employment of management staff is something he’s seen great success with in industry with organisations seeing a ten-fold growth in profits. This is the focus of Mohamed’s new research project.

Finally, Mohamed gave keynotes to executives from the Chinese banking industry at the 2016 China-UK Financial Talent Education Meeting on Banking (pictured above right). This was organised in October in Guangzhou in collaboration with Guangzhou Tianhe Central Business District Administrative Committee and the UK Department for International Trade. Around 200 senior executives from commercial banks in Guangdong Province attended this meeting. Mohamed’s keynote was on China’s banking sector. He focused on opening new banks to serve SMEs which are significant in Asia, representing up to 99% of business.

Mohamed was also invited to join a high profile panel which was composed of senior executives from Central Bank of China and other major Chinese banks to discuss the global trends in banking and its implications for Chinese financial sector.

By applying his research to these organisations, Mohamed is making a difference to the development of policy and emerging economies across Asia.

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