Iman Mutlaq is an entrepreneur and financier. She founded Sigma Investments, and is our special guest on today’s Women in Business.
Sigma Investments started operating in Jordan in 2006, most of its projects back then were in Iraq and Libya before returning to Jordan. Sigma Investments is a multi-national company founded by Jordanian businesswoman Iman Mutlaq to provide investment opportunities and consultant services for clients. It is a Jordanian success story that went global and exceeded all expectations. It proved that through persistence and hard work success is possible. Our cameras in Al-Mo’asher met to talk about several files with a question. What projects is Sigma Investments currently working on?
Iman Mutlaq: Most of projects we are working on, we started one and a half year ago with a project to build a commodities exchange, including grains in Egypt. We have done a feasibility study for this project and we signed an agreement with the government to start with the study and project. We also helped in changing or adjusting the law because there were no derivatives in the law. Now it’s a supposed to be approved by the Prime Minister and is now awaiting approval from the Parliament, then we will start applying for the stock market and start working there. We started another thing, we signed an agreement with the Liberian government to help them improve rice cultivation to make it sufficient for Sirloin or the neighboring countries. We are doing the same thing; we are creating spot commodities exchange in the Ivory Coast. So this is what we are working on. Last month I flew to Sri Lanka after receiving an invitation to discuss how Sigma and Colombo in their new project Colombo International Financial City and how we can help them build the new Financial City.
Financial markets are considered to be the main pillars in various economics in the world. Since Iman Mutlaq has a long experience in this field, it was important to ask her about her opinion on financial markets in our region.
Iman Mutlaq: It is not on the right track, meaning that the trading volume is weak, the trading hours are very short, they are supposed to be longer. An investor entering the market is an old-fashioned investor for Jordan, or the people who are aware of who is submitting dividends, old companies in the market and they hurry to buy their shares, the investor does not do a comprehensive study of the budget related to the size of work and company or of the bank before they trade in it. In addition, regarding markets in the Middle East, there is another thing which we must change, it is allowing foreigners to trade in our markets. If we want a high trading volume, we should allow traders from all around the world to trade and buy these shares. There are still many restrictions and fears, they fear that this investor will take over the shares and companies knowing that in the past during the 70s, the stock exchange was open for international companies, trading is ongoing and any person from any nationality can trade. There’s also a very important thing regarding the Arabic market indices, there is no trading on these indices, we were supposed to have trading since we at least have them since 1971 on global indicators, so this thing will develop our markets.
Iman Mutlaq is a Jordanian businesswoman who made huge efforts to support entrepreneurship through her company Sigma Investments, and as part of the Global Alliance Partners Organization, she called for the organization’s upcoming conference to be in Jordan on May in order to open the way for emerging companies to meet international investors.