Arshad Khan, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the BFX and the BFX Clearing and Depository Corporation
The Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX), the first multi-asset exchange in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, proudly announced the commencement of live trading of its conventional trading segment on the 23rd November 2011.
Following the successful launch of its Islamic division (Bait Al Bursa) in February 2011, the BFX began operations of its conventional division on the 23rd November 2011. The launch of the conventional segment is in line with the strategy to establish the BFX as the only multi-asset exchange in the region offering its members and their customers the opportunity to trade in various asset classes like Derivatives, Equities, Fixed Income, Exchange Traded Funds, and Structured Products in both the conventional and Islamic finance vertical. In its initial phase, the BFX is listing three derivatives products for trading. These products are Natural Gas Futures, Gold Futures and Euro US Dollar Futures, and are designed to provide market participants with opportunities to trade on precious metals, energy and currency asset classes to meet their investment and hedging requirements. Following these products, the BFX will be adding additional offerings from currencies, commodities, and indices baskets.
H.E. Rasheed Al Maraj, the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, commented on this occasion: “We congratulate the Bahrain Financial Exchange on this historic day and wish them great success. The start of the conventional division of the BFX will greatly benefit the financial markets of the Kingdom of Bahrain. We are confident that the BFX market will be utilised by the financial institutions based locally as well as regionally for the investment and trading requirements of their investors. The establishment of such sophisticated and next-generation exchanges like the BFX will facilitate the financial markets in Bahrain to achieve a higher level of maturity and uniformity.”
Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board (EDB), said: “We are pleased to see the establishment of the BFX and expansion of its membership base across the MENA region. Sophisticated financial markets such as the BFX enable the free flow of capital which is vital in promoting economic growth and helping businesses to create jobs and opportunities for all Bahrainis. We wish the BFX the best of luck with all of its work in the future.”
Mr. Jignesh Shah, Chairman & Group CEO of Financial Technologies Group (FT Group) and Chairman of the Bahrain Financial Exchange said: “I would like to convey my appreciation for the support that we received from the Government of Bahrain, the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Economic Development Board without which setting up a true multi-asset exchange would have been impossible. The Kingdom of Bahrain being the oldest financial centre of the Gulf and a globally leading centre for Islamic finance is the ideal location for an international multi-asset exchange like the BFX which offers products in both Islamic and conventional finance accessible to the trading community across the globe.”
Mr. Arshad Khan, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the BFX and the BFX Clearing and Depository Corporation (BCDC) said: “The 23rd of November 2011 is a momentous day for the BFX and the regional financial market as a whole. Exchanges are considered as the barometer of an economy; therefore, the establishment of the Exchange and the successful commencement of live trading signify a landmark accomplishment for the Kingdom’s financial sector. We are proud to play a major part in the evolution of the multi-asset market place for the conventional and Islamic finance emanating from the Kingdom of Bahrain. The coming days will be even more exciting as we will continuously develop our product portfolio to meet the market requirements.” He also added: “This great achievement couldn’t have been possible without the support and assistance of the financial institutions that have joined the BFX as its members.”
In line with the other international exchanges, the BFX conventional division is operating from Monday to Friday. Trading starts at 8:30 hours and closes at 21:30 hours (Bahrain Time) thus bridging the gap between the Tokyo and New York markets.