Dubai International Financial Exchange Opens For Business

  • Aims to transform region’s financial landscape
  • Deutsche Bank is first to list products
  • International mobile telecommunications company Investcom is first company to announce intention to list on the DIFX

The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) opened for trading for the first time on Monday 26th September at 2pm (10am GMT).

The launch of the first truly international stock exchange located between Western Europe and East Asia took place at a ceremony at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), where the DIFX is located.

The DIFX aims to become the leading exchange in its region for equities, bonds, funds, Islamic products and other securities. It will be a gateway for international and regional investment.

It is the first exchange in its region that has been created to list securities from many different countries. It also aims to be the first to attract large numbers of international brokers, including some of the world’s biggest investment banks.

Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of the DIFC Authority, said: “This is an historic day for Dubai, the Middle East and the entire region that the DIFX will serve. The exchange will be a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity. It will strengthen the ties between the countries of the DIFX region, as well as between the region and the rest of the world.”

The DIFX market opened with the listing of five Deutsche Bank securities. These are index tracking certificates, which will cover the US S&P 500, the German DAX 30, the Japanese Nikkei 225, the EuroStoxx 50 and the Stoxx 50.

The international mobile telecommunications company, Investcom, this month announced its intention to become one of the first companies to list on the DIFX. Its initial public offering will be the first of 10 to 15 that the DIFX believes may be brought to its market by the end of 2006, by companies based in countries across its region and beyond.

Lynton Jones, Chairman of the DIFX, said: “The DIFX will bring international investment into regional securities on an unprecedented scale. By tapping into this investment, regional companies can obtain the capital they need to grow.”

“Underpinning the entire project is the exchange’s independent regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), whose rules and practices are based on international standards. Regulation by the DFSA creates international confidence in the DIFX.”

Steffen Schubert, Chief Executive of the DIFX, “The opening of the DIFX, fully functioning and on schedule, is the result of many months of planning and hard work. The extraordinary support we are receiving from the Government of Dubai and the financial and business community shows this effort will reap rich rewards. The DIFX will over the coming years achieve its aim of becoming one of the world’s leading international exchanges.”

The DIFX opened with four member banks – CSFB ( Europe) Ltd, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Bank plc and UBS AG.

The DIFX expects to have up to 40 members by the end of 2006, including many leading international and regional investment banks. It also expects its issuer base to be the most international in the world, drawn from many countries and with no single country predominating.

Nasser Al Shaali , Chief Operating Officer, said: “The DIFX’s focus in its first months will be to demonstrate that its market is reliable and efficient. This period will enable issuers, members and investors to understand the way the exchange operates and its many attractive features. These include being the first exchange in the region to make use of market makers to provide liquidity.”

The DIFX’s electronic trading platform is supplied by AtosEuronext. Its clearing and settlement software are provided by Tata Consultancy Services.

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