Dubai: Exchange has liftoff
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Dubai: Exchange has liftoff

The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) has set itself an ambitious target, according to its chairman.

Lynton Jones hopes the new exchange, which finally opened for trading in September, will list up to 20 firms from the Middle East, Africa, the former Soviet Union and south Asia by the end of next year.

The exchange is also aiming to begin derivatives trading next year – a first for the Middle East – and to launch about $2 billion in IPOs. The minimum market capitalization required for IPOs has been set at $50 million, with a 25% equity listing requirement.

The dollar-denominated exchange began by trading five index-tracking instruments for the S&P500, DAX, Nikkei, EuroStoxx and Stoxx, but it is expected that equity, corporate and sovereign and Islamic financial instruments will be listed soon. Its four member banks at launch were Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS and CSFB. The DIFX’s aim for the rest of this year is to list IPOs, conventional and Islamic bonds, and funds.

Financial centre

The new bourse is part of the UAE’s effort to create the region’s premier financial and commercial centre, although it faces competition from the Gulf’s traditional leader, Bahrain, and the newly opened Qatar Financial Centre.

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