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Association/Trade Show Update

The second annual Arab Banking Technology Conference to take place in Dubai on April 22-24, 2002; SWIFT and Global Crossing restructure agreement.

The second annual Arab Banking Technology (ABTEC) Conference will take place in Dubai on April 22-24, 2002.

The conference, which attracts bankers throughout the Middle East region, features speakers who are experts in the fields of Internet banking technology, e-banking, data warehousing, analytics, security and fraud. Presenters at the conference will include top executives from notable American firms including Fidelity Investment USA, American Express, Barclays Capital and PricewaterhouseCoopers USA.

Noting that recent events in America and the Middle East have focused attention on the Middle East as a source of potential cyber threats to global financial networks, Douglas Mellor, chairman of Olive Internet Group PLC, said that over the next few years the majority of Arab banks are expected to upgrade their IT systems with online banking and e-security high on the agenda.

"Middle East businesses could end up spending $100 million within the next two or three years on beefing up their IT security systems," Mellor said.

In recent years, Dubai has emerged as the benchmark for progressive technological development in the Middle East. For this reason, the primary organization of the ABTEC 2002 event is being undertaken in partnership with the online office of the government of Dubai, through the personal website of His Highness, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defense Minister, along with the full sponsorship and support of Dubai Internet City.

H.E. Sultan bin Nasser al Suwaidi, governor of the UAE Central Bank, said that Dubai welcomes the opportunity to host this conference. "By assembling leading bankers from the region together with world class companies in the field of IT and E-Technology, ABTEC provides a cohesive regional approach to the development of e-security."

ABTEC 2002 is extending support package deals, which include aid, transportation, accommodation and entry to the conference. Further information can be obtained from Marston Webb International, 60 Madison Ave., Ste. 1101, New York, NY 10010, or from the official website


SWIFT has ended its exclusive network partnership agreement with Global Crossing. As a result, SWIFT has resumed operation and ownership of its X.25 and SIPN (Secure IP Network) networks.

SWIFT's network strategy will center on the enhancement of its SIPN network to serve as the backbone of its network operations, given the current uncertainty surrounding the telecommunications industry. The development of SIPN will include the integration of multiple IP service providers at the access network level, ensuring reach and scale in the longer term.

"SWIFT has moved from plan 'A' to plan 'B' for its network strategy," said SWIFT CEO Leonard H. Schrank. "Plan 'A' put Global Crossing at the center. Plan 'B' puts SWIFT at the center with multi-vendor IP networks as gateways. We're now moving down a path of lowest risk, highest quality at an acceptable cost."

The partnership agreement executed in February 2001 has been replaced with a non-exclusive network services agreement. In concert with that decision, Global Crossing will continue to provide network services to SWIFT.

SWIFT is the industry-owned cooperative supplying secure messaging services and interface software to 7,000 financial institutions in 196 countries. For more information about SWIFT, visit

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