Exchange Strengthens Position as International Market of Choice for Middle Eastern Companies

21 July 2008

Global MENA Financial Assets today became the latest in a line of Middle Eastern companies to join the London Stock Exchange. Earlier this month Commercial Bank of Qatar conducted the first Qatari listing on the Exchange’s Main Market for ten years and on May 22 Global Investment House became the first Kuwaiti company to join the Main Market.

Seven Middle Eastern companies have now joined the London Stock Exchange so far this year, raising £1.5 billion. This figure matches the total raised during the whole of 2005, the previous record year for fundraising by Middle Eastern companies.

Tracey Pierce, Head of Equity Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange Group, said:

“So far this year we have welcomed seven new firms from the Middle East to our markets, including Global Investment House and the Commercial Bank of Qatar, two of the largest ever capital raisings by Middle Eastern companies on our markets. The stream of flotations, including a number of firms from the region’s flourishing financial sector, demonstrates that London is now the market of choice for Middle Eastern companies looking to transform themselves into global leaders, as London provides access to an unrivalled pool of international investment.”

Outside Israel, there are now 36 Middle Eastern companies on the London Stock Exchange's markets, with a combined market cap of more than £13 billion, while there are none listed on NYSE-Euronext or Nasdaq.

On admission to the Main Market Global MENA Financial Assets, a closed-end fund, raised £252 million, which it will invest in the financial sector primarily across the Middle East and North Africa (including Turkey), with scope to invest up to 20 per cent of NAV in other select emerging markets. The fund is to be managed by Global Capital Management, a unit of Kuwait’s Global Investment House, which joined the Exchange’s Main Market in May.

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