MOU of Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Between Arab Common Exchange Holding and NASDAQ OMX

BY  | FROM GLOBE NEWSWIRE | 2014-04-30 12:34

  MANAMA, Bahrain and NEW YORK, April 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NASDAQ OMX (Nasdaq:NDAQ) and Arab Common Exchange Holding (ACX Holding) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will build on their collective achievements to enter into a long-term strategic partnership to establish a pan-Arab network of exchanges owned and run by the private sector to serve the entire Arab capital markets.

  The Arab League's focus on the economy led to the initiative of H.M. King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa to host ACX HQ in the Kingdom of Bahrain, adopted by the 22 Arab leaders in a resolution at the 'Arab Leaders Economic Summit' held in Riyadh on 22 January 2013.

  NASDAQ OMX and ACX Holding see the importance of jointly establishing a business partnership that would serve and develop the capital markets in the Arab region by forming a long-term strategic partnership and cooperation, beginning with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). NASDAQ OMX and ACX intend to enter an agreement allowing both parties to form a deeper collaboration. NASDAQ OMX will work closely with ACX in sharing its unique experience and best practices over the past decades, as ACX evolves from a bourgeoning start-up to a network of pan-Arab regional exchanges.

  "ACX has embarked over the past year to develop a plan of action and preparation of necessary studies and business models appropriate for the development of the investment environment," said Safar Al Harthi, Chairman of ACX. "This includes the development of flexible mechanisms to ensure the flow of Arab capital, regional and foreign development projects of all sizes and sectors in the Arab world."

  He further added that, "We found the interest of NASDAQ OMX, one of the world's largest exchange companies and the leading provider of market technologies, to enter into a long-term strategic partnership as a good opportunity to work together to further develop and deepen the Arab capital markets with the active participation of the private sector."

  The MOU will create an initial taskforce to layout the framework of the partnership which will lead to establishing and operating a fully-fledged exchange in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Exchange will be a platform to list different types and sizes of companies such as closed, families, public, start-ups, Waqf, as well as real estate projects and trading of various conventional and Islamic instruments. The Exchange will operate both platforms, one conventional and one Islamic-compliant, to meet the needs of participants who wish to trade on one or both of these markets.

  The ACX business model will also offer services to primary and secondary markets to provide sufficient financing and increase investment opportunities for further development of local Arab capital markets. It will also enhance the visibility of Arab joint investments for more participation from Arab citizens as well as foreign investments.

  "We consider the Arab League's initiative a prime opportunity for NASDAQ OMX to assist ACX in further developing the Arab capital markets," said Lars Ottersgard, Senior Vice President, Market Technology, NASDAQ OMX. "We look forward to exploring all opportunities with ACX in this new, interesting development."

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