JP Morgan acquires stake in Dubai Mercantile Exchange

October 14th, 2008 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Oct 14 (IANS) Leading global financial institution JP Morgan Tuesday acquired stake in the Middle East’s first energy futures exchange, the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME).JP Morgan’s move comes in the wake of DME announcing in August this year that global financial institutions and energy trading firms, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Vitol, Concord Energy, Casa Energy Trading, and a Shell group company, have become strategic investors in the exchange.

The terms of sale of the equity sale to JP Morgan remain private and confidential, according to a DME statement.

“We are delighted to announce that JP Morgan has joined the DME as the latest strategic investor in the exchange,” DME chairman Ahmad Sharaf said.

“Continued interest from the ranks of the most highly respected global financial institutions and energy trading firms to take an equity stake in the business underscores the success of the DME to date,” he added.

DME chief executive Tom Leaver said the addition of JP Morgan to the exchange’s newly extended group of shareholders would boost its value proposition.

“We intend to work closely with JP Morgan and our other new equity partners to take the exchange to the next level,” he stated.

According to Blythe Masters, head of global commodities at JP Morgan, his firm would provide its insight and resources to the DME.

“This partnership underscores our commitment to the Middle East region and the growth of our commodities business,” he said.

The most important product traded by the DME is the world’s first physically delivered Middle East sour crude futures contract, the DME Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract.

According to the statement, the DME Oman Contract has seen growing levels of trading, which reached 24,980 in August.

The exchange recently launched the DME Brent crude oil financial contract and the DME Oman crude oil financial contract.

The New York Mercantile Exchange, Tatweer, a member of Dubai government’s Dubai Holding, and the Oman Investment Fund collectively hold 75 percent equity stake in the exchange.

The DME board of directors had approved issuance of equity stake up to 20 percent to other strategic investors.

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