Published July 31st, 2006 - 06:39 GMT

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed yesterday between Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE) and Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) to develop and strengthen capital markets activity in the region.

The MoU was signed by Fouad Rashid, BSE's Director, and Nasser Alshaali, Chief Operating Officer of the DIFX

The  MoU aims at strengthening and increasing cooperation between both parties in areas relating to exchange of expertise and information by both parties. The MoU will work on increasing awareness among both parties’ market participants regarding the legal framework and investment opportunities available in both bourses. It also encourages listed companies in both stock markets to cross list their securities.

The MoU encourages both parties to jointly organize training programs and enhances relations and cooperation between market participants operating on  both stock exchanges

Mr. Rashid, BSE’s Director, said: “This landmark agreement promotes the interests of issuers, brokers and investors as well as of both exchanges. We are committed to working towards substantial ties that will promote enhance and develop the Investment environment in both countries and make it more attractive and profitable.”

Mr. Alshaali, Chief Operating Officer of the DIFX, said: “As the region’s international exchange, the DIFX welcomes cooperation with other exchanges to the benefit of all.

“Closer ties will facilitate international and regional investment, spurring capital markets activity and economic development.”

The DIFX and BSE will seek additional avenues of mutual interest in discussions in coming months.


About DIFX
The DIFX is the region’s first international financial exchange for equities, bonds, Islamic products, funds, index products and (subject to regulatory approval) derivatives. The target areas of the DIFX for seeking issuers include the Middle East and North Africa, as well as South Africa, Turkey and the Indian sub-continent.

The exchange launched in September 2005 and currently has 13 Member banks – Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, EFG-Hermes, HSBC, KAS BANK, Morgan Stanley, SHUAA Capital, UBS, Merrill Lynch, Mashreq Capital (DIFC) and ABN AMRO.

Issuers on the DIFX include Aabar Sukuk (sukuk), Deutsche Bank (certificates over indices), Fortune Management Inc. (ordinary shares), Kingdom Hotel Investments (ordinary shares), Man Industries (global depositary receipts), MashreqBank (Euro Medium Term Notes), National Bank of Dubai (Euro Medium Term Notes), Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (sukuk) and Rana Sugars (global depositary receipts).

The regulator of the DIFX is the Dubai Financial Services Authority. The DIFX is located in the
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and its owner is the DIFC Authority.

Bahrain Stock Exchange

Bahrain Stock Exchange was established in 1987 and started operation in 1989.  The existence of the stock exchange has enhanced the investment environment of the capital market in the Kingdom and increased the quantity and quality of instruments listed on BSE.

BSE is managed by a Board of Directors chaired by the Governor of Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA). The board consists of 8 members representing both government and private sectors.

Ownership regulation in the kingdom of Bahrain allow GCC citizens to own up to 100% and non-GCC up to 49% of the Bahraini Shareholding Companies unless other stated in the companies article of associations.

To encourage long-term development of the region's capital markets, the BSE has signed several cross-listing agreements and memorandums of understanding with other exchanges in the region.

Non- Bahraini companies listed on BSE include three Kuwaiti, 2 Omani, one from Qatar and one Sudan.

Bahrain Stock Exchange is considered one of the most GCC Bourses in terms of listed instruments that include Ordinary Shares, Preference Shares, Conventional Bonds, Islamic Bonds (Sukuk) and Mutual Funds.

The number of Bahraini listed companies listed on BSE is 42 having market capitalization BD 6.53 billion. Bonds & Sukuk listed are 19 with total value of $ 2.83 billion and the number of mutual funds is 36.

In addition non- Bahraini companies on BSE include 3 Kuwaiti, 2 Omani, one from Qatar and one from Sudan.


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