Investor Perception Breakthrough for Palestinian Companies

Published March 24th, 2010 - 12:02 GMT

The Palestine Securities Exchange ("PSE") has completed its first ever London road show on 17-19 March 2010. Showcasing some of its leading listed companies, the PSE arranged a seminar and a parallel series of investor meetings to highlight the real investment opportunity that Palestine offers. During the three day event, seven of Palestine's leading listed companies, as well as the PSE and the local regulator, the Palestine Capital Markets Authority, met with 10 potential and existing investment funds, eight of whom had never previously considered investing in Palestine. The road show is part of a series of high level networking events in cooperation with British counterparties. The mission is supported by the office of the Quartet Representative, Rt. Hon. Tony Blair and in cooperation with the Portland Trust and the Palestine Britain Business Council (PBBC) in UK.

Speaking about the event in his endorsement letter to the PSE, Tony Blair said, "The PSE's investor road show is one of a series of events to promote Palestine as an opportunity for investors and to work towards changing the international business communities' perception about the Palestinian market. Palestinian business confidence continues to grow. The Palestine Securities Exchange lies at the heart of these efforts."

PSE CEO, Ahmad Aweidah commented, "We were delighted with the positive reception that we received from the London-based investment community. Many of the people we met this week had not, until very recently, even been aware that Palestine has a stock exchange, let alone that it has been running and thriving for over 13 years, is well regulated, is easy to trade on, and most importantly, has performed much better than many other exchanges regionally and internationally over the last few years. Last year our Al-Quds index finished nearly 12% up over the year, and we are nearly 7% ahead to date this year. The investment opportunity that Palestinian companies offer is now firmly on the map".

Paltel Group CEO, Ammar Aker added, "The Palestinian Exchange currently lists 38 companies, the largest of which is PalTel, the dominant local telecommunications provider. Paltel accounts for 40% of the exchange's market capitalization, and had net profit of $99 million in 2009. Paltel stock has already been attractive to foreign investors with one major UK holding the stock since 2007. This trip is has enabled us to expose the company's strength and future promise to additional UK funds and investors."

The London road show was organised in partnership with the Paltel Group. The Palestinian delegation also included senior executives from PSE, member brokerage companies, PSE listed companies, the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) and Bayti for Real Estate Investment Company.

About Palestine Securities Exchange

Palestine Securities Exchange is a private shareholding company that was established in 1996 and held its first trading session on the 18 February 1997. The PSE operates under the supervision of the Palestinian Capital Market Authority and in accordance with the Securities Law No. (12) 2004 and its bylaws, in addition to modern regulations, which form a strong basis that ensure a fair trading environment. Today, there are thirty-eight companies listed on the PSE across five main economic sectors: banking, insurance, investments, industry and services.

There are no restrictions on foreign investments at the PSE or on Foreign Exchange by the Palestinian Monetary Authority. HSBC Middle East provides global custody services to interested foreign clients.

The PSE common values are: good governance, transparency, efficiency, fairness & equal opportunity.

For more information about the PSE, please visit: http://www.p-s-e.com

About Paltel Group - The Telecommunications Leader in Palestine

Paltel commenced operations on January 1, 1997 as an integrated telecom operator and service provider offering Mobile, Fixed, Data and other support services in Palestine. Paltel is the national telecommunications provider in Palestine, where its services cover more than 90% of the Palestinian Territories and reaches Palestinians in the Diaspora.

Paltel offers a range of services including local and international telephone services, internet, data communications, mobile, value-added services, payphones, and next-generation services in addition to creating the backbone for other related telecom service. As of December 2009, Paltel has 1.8 million mobile customers, 370,638 fixed line customers and roughly 92,482 ADSL customers.

Paltel is a public shareholding company listed on the Palestine Stock Exchange (PSE) & Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and with current capital of JD 131,625 million with roughly 10,000 shareholders which include a range of institutional and individual investors. Paltel established VTEL, a company worth USD1.2 billion that was incorporated at the Dubai International Financial Center in 2006 as part of its offshore investments and a vision to tap into international markets via its strategic investment in VTEL holdings. Paltel holds a 25% position in VTEL.

Paltel held an exclusive License Agreement with the PNA to develop the telecom sector; however a second license has been awarded to Wataniya Telecom.


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