Plans for joint Arab IT market back on

Plans for a united Arab IT stock exchange were put back into motion, after Essa Kazim, general manager of the Dubai Financial Market (DFT), claimed that the governments of Dubai, Bahrain and Jordan were keen to get the ball rolling.

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By  John Irish Published  April 23, 2003

Plans for a united Arab IT stock exchange were put back into motion, after Essa Kazim, general manager of the Dubai Financial Market (DFT), claimed that the governments of Dubai, Bahrain and Jordan were keen to get the ball rolling.

Kazim told Arabian Business that the first step had seen 90% of a project to create a regional stock exchange completed. He added that it comprised small to medium-sized technology orientated companies that were part of the Dubai, Bahraini and Jordanian stock exchanges.

“The purpose of this project is to bring together Arab financial markets, in order to strengthen them and create a friendly environment for Arab investors.”

He went on to stress that this exchange would make it possible to raise capital for the IT industry, provide easy exit mechanisms for investors and attract more venture capitalists by offering a diverse investor base and more liquidity.

In Jordan, the IT professionals’ association released a statement confirming that in light of the current political climate, Jordan would gain from being listed on this board since both Bahrain and Dubai were distant from the turmoil and their political steadiness would offset the regional instability that has affected Jordan’s economy.

“The Regional IT Board will speed up and facilitate the listing process for IT companies by creating a specialized exchange which is tailored for their needs and capabilities,” said the statement.
DFT’s Kazim added that despite calls for unification and the incorporation of Arab markets, the main problem holding them back was the Arab mindset.

“All Arab markets are still working away from one another and their self interests are still dominating the Arab mind. However, this does not prevent the development of solid foundations on account of creating joint Arab markets,” he said.

Kazim indicated that further details about the IT stock exchange would be declared later in the year.

Despite, running for three years, Dubai Financial Market’s market capitalization is around $11 billion, with the daily trade volumes exceeding Dhs10 million.

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