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Darla Moore School of Business

  • Image of Mohammed Omran at the Moore School

    Sonoco Visiting Fellow Mohammed Omran

An inside look at Egyptian financial regulations

Visiting Fellow educates Moore School community on financial regulation and related trends in Egypt

Egyptian finance professor Mohammed Omran shared during the spring semester his scholarly and regulatory finance expertise with the Moore School community as an invited Sonoco Visiting Fellow.

Omran is a finance professor at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology’s Graduate School of Business in Alexandria, Egypt. He has previously served as the board chair of the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority and also of the Egyptian Stock Exchange. Omran is the most cited financial economist in Egypt with more than 5,000 citations, according to Google Scholar.

Omran spent six weeks this spring meeting with Moore School students, faculty and South Carolina entities sharing his career journey regulating financial markets in the Middle East.

Omran explained that Egypt and the U.S. both regulate their capital markets with a clear aim to protect investors and ensure a sound and stable financial system.

“Compared to the U.S.’s federal Security and Exchange Commission, Egypt’s Financial Regulatory Authority is not limited to the capital market, but it regulates the entire non-bank financial institution in Egypt such as the insurance sector, mortgage finance, leasing, factoring, micro-, small- and medium-size enterprise finance and consumer finance,” Omran said.

“Omran provided his singular expertise of the top levels of Egyptian and international finance with Moore School colleagues and students as a distinguished speaker in our Folks Center Pathways series and was highly engaged with South Carolina business leaders through the Folks Center during his visit,” said Karen Brosius, executive director of the Folks Center for International Business.

Exploring how the U.S. and Egypt’s financial regulatory systems vary, Omran’s activities with the Moore School during his time as a Sonoco Visiting Fellow included:

  • Leading a talk during the spring semester about regulating financial markets in the turbulent Middle East with Moore School students for the Folks Center for International Business’ Pathways speaker series.
  • Presenting as a guest speaker for the graduate-level international business course Comparative Corporate Governance, Omran discussed the role of security regulators at the firm level in terms of ownership structure, the board of directors’ composition and country-level corporate governance.
  • Sharing with the finance course Commercial Bank Practice and Policy the extent that regulation in developed markets like the U.S. and EU influenced emerging markets and the similarities and differences in regulatory environments.
  • Meeting with the Folks Center and Chernoff Newman, a Columbia-based communications agency, which consults with the Egyptian embassy on communications in the U.S.
  • Discussing sustainability in the U.S. and Egypt and how they are similar and different at a Folks Center dinner with Sustain South Carolina’s CEO Ethel Bunch and COO Brent Jonas. Bunch was a speaker at the UN Climate Conference in Cairo this past fall. This meeting tied sustainability to finance, as they are often interconnected since sustainability has become such an overarching international concern with potentially high economic stakes.
  • Attending the Sustain South Carolina Energy Forum, which included statewide business, policy and conservation leaders.

“Overall, I am very impressed by the quality of knowledge and discussion of the Moore School faculty and students, alike, during my time as a Sonoco Visiting Fellow,” Omran said. “During the Pathways event with faculty and undergraduate and graduate students and as a guest speaker for International MBA students and undergrad finance students, I have enjoyed the interactive and passionate discussions, so the students can gain as much knowledge as they can about Egypt and the Middle East economic and finance landscape.”

Omran said he was also impressed by the students’ willingness to learn and their overall knowledge of current finance industry trends like environmental, social and corporate governance considerations, which include sustainability, climate change and carbon emissions.

During his time at the Moore School, Omran took a particular interest in sustainability, as noted in his meeting with sustainability experts and in attending the energy forum. He expressed the importance of meeting with non-academic entities for faculty scholars.

“It is really good not to limit your research and experience to academic approaches, but it is important to interact with the business community as well,” he said. “I have enjoyed the discussion with several people from the business side as well as policymakers in South Carolina. I was glad to understand and learn more about how Chernoff Newman is advising Egypt and several other countries in the Middle East on several international communications strategies. I got the chance to learn more about Sustain South Carolina and its initiative on sustainability, not only for South Carolina but nationwide.”

Moore School international business professor Omrane Guedhami recommended Omran to be a Sonoco Visiting Fellow. Guedhami and Omran originally met in 2001 when Omran was a visiting scholar at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, while Guedhami was completing his Ph.D. The two scholars were also co-authors on a Journal of Financial Research paper: “Foreign Investor Participation in Privatizations: Does the Institutional Environment Matter?”

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