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Nasdaq Dubai’s New Platform for Trading Islamic Bonds

Nasdaq Dubai is to open a new exchange trading platform on which investors can trade Sukuk (Islamic bonds) and conventional bonds.

The tradable securities will initially comprise of just 12 Sukuk bonds listed on the exchange, with a nominal value of 10.9 billion dollars, with more expected to be added as the new Islamic trading platform is rolled out by Nasdaq Dubai this quarter. It is aimed at institutional, corporate and high-net worth investors.

Settlement services for the new platform, operated out of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), will be handled by Euroclear Bank.

The platform will open with links to leading United Arab Emirates (UAE) and international financial services institutions, assert the partners, although no launch clients are given and 12 bonds is a low rollout. Nonetheless, the fact that prices of Nasdaq Dubai-listed Sukuk and other bonds will be visible for the first time to all investors simultaneously on the same screen-based solution could attract volume. It should also increase transparency and efficiency in the secondary market, as well as promoting liquidity. Currently the Sukuk and other bonds are only tradable via banks over-the-counter (OTC) offerings so this initiative should open up the market somewhat.

Commenting on the launch, Essa Kazim, chairman of Boerse Dubai, the holding company for Dubai’s stock exchanges and owner of as third of the shares in Nasdaq Dubai, said: “This new platform is a natural extension of Dubai’s existing role as a centre for Sukuk and bond issuance and listing.” He went on to add that he hopes: “Nasdaq Dubai will offer an efficient trading venue to participants from the region and around the world, providing fresh impetus to the growth of the capital markets in the UAE and the region.”