Special Report: Qatar - Restructuring the financial sector

09 October 2008

Euro-US stock exchange operator NYSE Euronext has taken a bold position in the Gulf states’ stock exchange rivalry, after choosing to invest $250m for a 25 per cent holding in Doha Securities Market (DSM).

The acquisition is NYSE Euronext’s biggest ever external investment and is a high-profile statement regarding its faith in the future of Doha as a trading hub.

While NYSE Euronext brings its cutting-edge trading technology to the table, Qatar is seeking to leverage its gas wealth to transform its economy from one that is almost entirely dependent on hydrocarbons revenues, to one that is mature, diversified and distinguished by a world-class financial centre.

Doha is also seeking to establish niche markets that will give it a key advantage when competing against rival trading centres in the region, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Riyadh.

NYSE Euronext’s experience in operating derivatives trading platforms, gained from its ownership of the London Financial Futures & Options Exchange, means the NYSE/DSM team is well-placed to establish Doha as the Middle East centre for energy deriva-tives business.

Such is their confidence that the team are already working on designing the futures market, which will be developed alongside the existing equities market.

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