Despite criticising the high cost of securities transactions in Jordan, Wilshire in its recommendation pointed to high levels of market liquidity and ‘capital market openness -which to foreign investment is a critical barometer of a government’s commitment to free market policies’. Jordan is engaged in a major privatisation programme which is expected to raise more than $1,500 million over the next few years, according to a recent study by the Export & Finance Bank (EFB – MEED 14:2:03).

Receipts from previous sales – including the JD 468 million ($659 million) generated from the sale of Jordan Telecomin 2000 – have helped to bolster foreign currency reserves. However, Ministry of Finance figures indicate that as much as JD 300 million ($423 million) of privatisation proceeds were channelled into debt swaps, development projects and low-interest loans to the under-privileged last year.