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Capital Markets

Stock exchanges: Push for junior markets in Middle East

How will the baby boomers that will come onto the Middle East’s job market over the next 10 years be employed?

It has been suggested that the Gulf’s model of big, state-owned businesses might not always be the best way to encourage the young entrepreneurs who could create work for a burgeoning youthful population.

It was perhaps with this in mind that a member of the Qatari royal family and the FTSE index company have been trying to encourage the creation of junior markets in the Middle East, in the image of London’s Alternative Investments Market.

The first exchange to have committed itself to opening a junior market is Qatar. However, Imogen Dillon-Hatcher, managing director for Emea at the FTSE Group, says two other exchanges in the region are close to agreeing to set up such operations, and another two might commit themselves to doing so by the end of the year.

"A number of exchanges in the Middle East are developing long-term strategies and creating robust and independent regulatory environments that allow for open and transparent trading," says Dillon-Hatcher.

FTSE has been advising these exchanges on what they need to do to move from being frontier markets to secondary emerging or advanced emerging markets – or even developed markets. One of the most important ways they can do this is to improve their liquidity.

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