Dubai financial bourse renamed Nasdaq Dubai

November 18th, 2008 - 7:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Nov 18 (IANS) The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) Tuesday announced it will be known as Nasdaq Dubai from Nov 20, after Nasdaq OMX, which runs the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York, decided to list its shares in the Dubai bourse.The Nasdaq OMX decision comes after it bought a one-third stake in DIFX in February. The remaining stock is owned by Bourse Dubai.

The world’s largest exchange company, US-headquartered Nasdaq OMX owns and operates seven European stock exchanges in the Nordic and Baltic regions, apart from the New York bourse.

“As the international stock exchange serving this region, Nasdaq Dubai acts as a capital markets gateway for investors all over the world, including and especially in this region,” Soud Ba’alawy, chairman of Nasdaq Dubai and a director at Nasdaq OMX, said while announcing DIFX’s new name.

“Nasdaq Dubai’s growing ties to Nasdaq OMX exchanges in the US and Europe in listings, marketing, technology, and management expertise will support its continuing expansion,” he added.

According to Bob Greifield, chairman of Nasdaq OMX and vice-chairman of Nasdaq Dubai, Western investors are showing interest in the Gulf and the Middle East.

“Nasdaq Dubai provides a first-class venue through which Nasdaq OMX-listed companies can reach new investors in the Gulf and the Middle East,” he said.

Coinciding with the launch of the new Nasdaq Dubai brand, Nasdaq OMX is organising the First Middle East Investor Conference here Nov 20, and the same day, the opening bell ceremony of Nasdaq New York will be held in this West Asian metropolis.

“We’ve attracted 29 companies to our first Middle East investor conference here in Dubai and there is clear and tangible interest in this market,” Greifield said.

“To facilitate dual listings on Nasdaq Dubai, we have created a streamlined listing process for companies looking to have a secondary listing here,” he added.

Nasdaq Dubai will also launch a UAE derivatives market Nov 20 in which members will be able to trade single stock futures on UAE-listed equities and a future on the FTSE DIFX UAE 20 equity index calculated by FTSE International.

Under the new name, Nasdaq Dubai will also extend its trading hours.

“Nasdaq Dubai is taking active steps to further develop its market including extending its opening hours, opening on Sundays, and allowing listings in UAE dirhams,” Nasdaq Dubai chief executive Jeff Singer said.

Established as DIFX in September 2005, Nasdaq Dubai is situated in the Dubai International Financial Centre, onshore financial hub here designed to bridge the time gap between western Europe and East Asia.

In a posting on its new website, Nasdaq Dubai said its region will include the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the wider Middle East and North Africa, Turkey and the Indian subcontinent.

“Through the exchange, regional and international issuers can access regional and international investment. International issuers can access investment from the region, through a primary or dual listing,” the website posting read.

The new Dubai bourse rebranding is significant given the emerging importance of the Gulf in the face of the global financial crisis.

With strong liquidity boosted by surging oil revenues, Gulf countries are collectively emerging as key player in the world economic order.

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