Financial Technologies, an Indian trading and exchange technology firm, has announced plans to create a new stock exchange in Bahrain.
The Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX) will be regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain and will commence trading in the first quarter of 2010. It has received approval to list cash and derivatives instruments on multiple asset classes including currencies, commodities, equity and debt related products. It will also list and trade Islamic finance instruments.
The Bahrain Stock Exchange was established in 1999 and lists bonds, mutual funds, equities and sukuk – asset-backed bonds structured in accordance with Shariah law.
“BFX will enhance the diversification, productivity and competitiveness of the economy of the Kingdom of Bahrain,” said Jignesh Shah, chairman and CEO, Financial Technologies Group, “The exchange’s arrival heralds a levelling of the playing field through increased transparency, sophistication and easier access to multiple asset markets.”
“Bahrain is widely regarded as the best-regulated financial centre in the Middle East,” added Arshad Khan, director, BFX. “Through the BFX, Financial Technologies will endeavour to participate in these developments and significantly contribute to the emerging globalised economy of Bahrain. The multi-asset profile of BFX will give it a unique standing to become a leading marketplace in the region.”
Western exchange groups have recently seen potential for exchange growth in the Middle East as well. Nasdaq OMX bought a third of Borse Dubai, now known as Nasdaq Dubai, last November, while NYSE Euronext invested $250 million in the Doha Securities Market for a 25% stake last June, its largest investment in an overseas exchange to date.