From when trading started at 10am last Sunday, 11 July, NASDAQ Dubai (www.nasdaqdubai.com) is routing all trades in its listed equities through the trading platform of Dubai Financial Market (DFM – www.dfm.ae). NASDAQ Dubai is one of the leading exchanges contesting the crown of financial centre of the Middle East and North Africa, and also has potential for channeling investments into African countries.
Trading for the first few sessions this week was reported to have gone well and several brokers were said to be inquiring about membership.
NASDAQ Dubai describes itself as: “the international financial exchange serving the region between Western Europe and East Asia. It welcomes regional as well as global issuers that seek regional and international investment. The exchange currently lists shares, derivatives, exchange-traded commodities, structured products, Sukuk (Islamic bonds) and conventional bonds.”
The move has been prepared since last December, and is part of a consolidation between the exchanges and aiming to boost liquidity on NASDAQ Dubai. Essa Kazim, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of DFM, said in a press release: “Cooperation between the two exchanges will increase, driving the expansion of Dubai as a centre of capital markets dynamism and innovation. Today’s outsourcing is a major step for us and the region. Through these growing links, DFM gains a wider array of product offerings and international expertise, while NASDAQ Dubai benefits from DFM’s high liquidity and enormous base of over 552,000 investors.”
Clearing, settlement and custody functions for NASDAQ Dubai equities also migrated to DFM’s systems on 11 July under an outsourcing agreement. Jeff Singer, Chief Executive of NASDAQ Dubai, said: “This new structure brings together more than half a million individual investors on DFM with NASDAQ Dubai’s institutional investors, many of them based outside the region. It positions Dubai as a leading international capital markets hub, providing investors with excellent liquidity and issuers with a choice of regulatory frameworks.”
In May 2010 DFM acquired two thirds of the shares of NASDAQ Dubai through an acquisition of shares from Borse Dubai and NASDAQ OMX, the international exchange group. Borse Dubai still owns one third of the shares. NASDAQ Dubai remains a separate exchange regulated to international standards by Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which gave approval for the outsourcing last week. DFM is regulated by the United Arab Emirates’ Securities and Commodities Authority. NASDAQ Dubai remains a separate company inside the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). It retains its own legal framework, listing rules and Members.
DFM and NASDAQ Dubai equities are now displayed together on the DFM website www.dfm.ae. NASDAQ Dubai equities also continue to be displayed separately on the NASDAQ Dubai website www.nasdaqdubai.com. Brokers who are members of NASDAQ Dubai access the DFM trading platform either directly, or through NASDAQ Dubai’s Market Place Services function, or through another broker.
Under the outsourcing, NASDAQ Dubai’s equities remain listed on NASDAQ Dubai and are not listed on DFM. Trading of equity derivatives continues to take place on NASDAQ Dubai’s own trading platform and systems.
NASDAQ Dubai’s opening hours are now 10am to 2pm UAE time (6am to 10am GMT) Sunday –Thursday. These are also DFM’s opening hours. Previously, NASDAQ Dubai’s opening hours were 10am to 5pm UAE time (6am to 1pm GMT) Sunday-Thursday.