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QH, NYSE ink deal to set up Qatar exchange

Doha, June 20, 2009

Qatar Holding (QH) and NYSE Euronext (NYX) have signed a strategic partnership agreement to establish Qatar Exchange (successor to current Doha Securities Market) and turn it into a world-class international exchange.

Qatar Holding is the strategic and direct investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

The successful closing of negotiations follows a preliminary announcement on June 24, 2008 that Qatar had selected NYSE Euronext as a partner, said a QIA statement.

As per the binding agreements, NYSE Euronext will take a 20 per cent stake in Qatar Exchange (QE) for $200 million, the largest investment ever made by NYSE Euronext in a foreign exchange. The pact will thus provide NYSE Euronext with a valuable presence in the Middle East.

The QIA will retain the remaining 80 per cent through its strategic and direct investment arm Qatar Holding.

The new exchange will be overseen by a newly appointed board under the chairmanship of Dr Khalid Al Attiyah, state minister for International Co-operation and the acting minister for Business and Trade. Ahmad Al-Sayed, managing director and CEO of Qatar Holding, will be the vice chairman, the statement said.

As per the agreement, all staff currently employed by DSM will be transferred to QE with the same employment rights and status, it added.

Andre Went, a senior leader from NYSE Euronext with 20 years experience, has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of QE.

Under the deal signed today, Qatar Exchange will start trading under the new name and management starting from Sunday (June 21).

There will be no immediate changes to the existing DSM market practices. All future changes will be communicated in advance to all market participants, it added.

The duo will soon begin work on transitioning QE to NYSE Euronext's next-generation trading technology, the statement added. QE will be the first exchange outside of the NYSE Euronext family of exchanges to utilize Universal Trading Platform (UTP), the QIA statement said.

Commenting on the partnership, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, said: 'Today's announcement paves the way for Qatar to take a prominent role in the world's capital markets for the benefit of both the people of Qatar and the Middle East more generally.'

'Our vision is to create a world class financial center around a global exchange that is on par with the deepest pools of capital across Europe, the US and Asia,' he stated.

'These international markets may be facing uncertain times today, but our focus remains on what the opportunities may be tomorrow for our people and indeed the generations to come.'

'I am delighted, therefore, that we have entered this partnership with NYSE Euronext to help drive forward this ambitious project. This agreement will play an important role in securing the future of the State of Qatar,' he added.

Ahmad Al-Sayed, managing director and CEO of Qatar Holding, said: 'QH is continuously growing its portfolio of strategic and direct investments for the benefit of the State of Qatar.'

'This latest strategic venture will allow Qatar's financial markets to run on state-of-the-art technology systems. Technology and market know-how transfer opportunities will greatly enhance our knowledge and help generate more high value employment opportunities for our people.'

'When our stock exchange starts trading on Sunday as the Qatar Exchange, it will truly be the start of a new era,' he noted.

Duncan Niederauer, chief executive officer of NYSE Euronext, pointed out that its strategic partnership with Qatar will benefit the Gulf region and customers on a global scale.-TradeArabia News Service


Tags: agreement | board | NYSE Euronext | Qatar Holding | Qatar Exchange |

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