‘You need the participation of brokers in the development of the market. The IPO will bring them on board as founders,’ DFM director-general Essa Kazim told MEED on 29 December. ‘We have benefited from the trading of companies and we’re taking the step to give them a share so they can be part of the market and we can develop further. Eighty per cent will still be owned by the government, but if the market allows and there is a demand, a strategic decision could be taken to IPO more shares.’

Dubai Bank is advising on the valuation of the exchange. The DFM showed revenues of about AED 1,200 million ($327 million) for 2005, with a total trading value of AED 410,000 million ($111,622 million). Market capitalisation at the end of 2005 stood at AED 413,000 million ($112,439 million).

The cabinet and the Securities & Commodities Authority are expected to approve the establishment of the DFM as a public joint stock company. ‘It will enhance the credibility of the market,’ said Kazim. ‘You need transparency and disclosure and we are enforcing this.’

Kazim said that, following the IPO, the DFM could start charging for trading information it currently publishes for free.