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KHALEEJ TIMES, Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 | Jumada Al Awwal 6, 1440

Nasdaq Dubai launches Saudi equity futures

Emirates: Nasdaq Dubai on Wednesday launched futures trading on 12 Saudi companies' shares with a combined market capitalisation of $212 billion (Dh778 billion).

The companies are Sabic, Al Rajhi Bank, Alinma Bank; Almarai, Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company; Etihad Etisalat; Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company; Saudi Arabian Mining Company; Saudi Cement Company; Saudi Electricity Company; Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company; and Altayyar Travel Group.

Nasdaq Dubai first announced its plans to launch Saudi equity futures in May 2018. The futures are traded on Nasdaq Dubai in Saudi riyals (SAR), which is the currency of the underlying shares.

Essa Kazim, governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and chairman of Dubai Financial Market (DFM), said the launch of Saudi equity futures in Dubai creates new opportunities for investors to play an active role in the region's dynamic economy.

"Dubai will continue to strengthen its capital market connections regionally and globally as well as its product offerings catering to all segments of the market," Kazim said.

Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, chairman of Nasdaq Dubai, said the Saudi equity futures market is built on collaboration with a wide variety of regional and international market participants as well as extensive analysis of investors' needs. "Together, we have created a market that offers easy access and efficiency combined with excellent trading and post-trading services."

Hamed Ali, chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai, said: "By providing flexibility to implement a variety of trading strategies, Saudi futures traded on Nasdaq Dubai provide investors with effective new ways to gain exposure to Saudi Arabia's leading companies. We look forward to further developing the market in coming months and years in cooperation with market participants."

With more UAE companies added since then, plus today's addition of the Saudi contracts, Nasdaq Dubai now offers single stock futures on a total of 29 leading regional companies. In 2018, the exchange also added futures on Dubai Financial Market's DFMGI share index as well as the ADI index of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. It will add futures on MSCI's UAE share index later this month.

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