The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) is set to go live with a platform supplied by Nasdaq OMX which it will use for all trading, including equity derivatives which it plans to list for the first time later this year.
The Nasdaq OMX platform will exclusively handle all DIFX securities, including its listed equities and structured products. The system will also be used for trading in equity derivatives, which the DIFX will list after receiving regulatory approval from Dubai authorities.
Commenting on the implementation, Markus Gerdien, EVP, Nasdaq OMX, says: "The DIFX will deploy a trading engine with capacity and functionality advantages that enables them to drive liquidity, and introduce new products and services at their exchange."
DIFX says it plans to list derivatives - including futures and options - on equities that are listed on its own exchange, as well as on the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. The DIFX also plans to list futures contracts based on the FTSE DIFX UAE 20 equity index.
Peter FitzGerald, COO, DIFX, says the new platform "will help to drive the expansion of the DIFX as the international exchange serving the Middle East".
Nasdaq OMX holds a 33% stake in the DIFX, with Borse Dubai holding the remaining stake.
This latest move is a further attempt by global exchanges to cash in on the lucrative Middle East market and comes just a week after Nyse Euronext revealed plans to acquire a 25% stake in Qatar's Doha Securities Market (DSM).
Nyse Euronext is investing $250 million for the stake under a deal that includes the development and management of a new cash and derivatives exchange. The deal followed "a competitive bidding process" in which the London Stock Exchange is thought to have lost out.