Lynton Jones DIFX Chairman Steps Down at end of his Term of Office Henry Azzam takes over as Chairman

The DIFX announced today that Lynton Jones, first Chairman of the exchange, will be stepping down from the Chairmanship at the end of December and Henry Azzam, an experienced banker and economist, will take over as Chairman effective from January 1, 2006.

Mr Jones is stepping down on schedule at the end of his contract, after becoming the first Chairman of the DIFX in September 2003 and guiding it successfully through its preparation phase and launch in September 2005. He will remain a Board Director.

Dr Azzam will oversee plans for the expansion and development of the DIFX in the coming months. Among many prominent roles in Middle East financial services, he has been a Board Director of the DIFX since March of 2004 and he is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Amwal Invest, a regional investment banking firm based in Jordan. He is also the Chairman of MobileCom, the mobile subsidiary of Jordan Telecom, a board member of Royal Jordanian airline and Vice Chairman of Majid Al Futtaim Trust, Dubai. He is the author of five books on the region’s economics and capital markets.

Mr Jones said: “The DIFX is an extraordinary project with enormous potential to benefit the economy of the region that it serves. Those involved in creating the exchange overcame many challenges and seized many opportunities en route to its launch. I am proud and honoured to have been involved from the beginning in what will in due course come to be seen as a historic venture and a testament to the vision of the government of Dubai.

“Investors around the world, as well as potential issuers and brokers, are preparing to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the DIFX. I look forward to continuing my involvement with the exchange as a director.”

The Director General of the DIFCA, Dr Omar bin Sulaiman, said: "We are extremely grateful for the work done by Lynton during his term of office as Chairman. Creating an international stock exchange from scratch has been a very challenging task, one seldom attempted anywhere else in the world. As a result of his energy and experience, and the excellent teamwork shown by his colleagues we have been able to launch this market in a very short space of time. For this we thank him. We are particularly pleased that he has agreed to remain a member of the DIFX board.”

Mr Jones was formerly Chairman of Jiway, the pan-European retail equity exchange, Chief Executive of the International Petroleum Exchange, Chief Executive of the OM London Exchange, Managing Director of NASDAQ International, and International Affairs Adviser and subsequently Head of Public Affairs of the London Stock Exchange. He currently has a number of other responsibilities in the UK including participating on several boards and committees.

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