Special Report: Capital markets - The drive for credibility

09 May 2008

The region’s stock exchanges have had great success in making headlines as they have attempted to boost their profile as regional hubs for international capital.

They have sought to take advantage of the growing international interest in the region’s booming economy, by forming alliances with international bourses to improve their credibility with international investors.

And they have tried to overcome concerns about a lack of depth by developing new instruments and listings.

Despite this, regional bourses are failing to attract significant volumes of foreign capital.

If they are to succeed in becoming major destinations for international capital, they must go further than simply launching new products to trade with improved back-office systems.

Investors want greater opportunities to invest in the local companies that are the principal beneficiaries of the oil boom.

The region’s governments are making huge efforts to develop listings for major entities, such as the listing in November of 20 per cent of Dubai-based port operator DP World on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), but it is not enough.

Moves to encourage cross-regional listings are positive and should result in more activity, but further local listings are needed to boost liquidity, particularly on the DIFX.

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