Imex ready for first contract
Dubai, June 10, 2007
Qatar's first energy bourse, the International Mercantile Exchange (Imex), will announce its first contract at the end of the third quarter, the company's chief executive said.
The commodities exchange will follow the UAE-based bourses that are already in operation, such as the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), and the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME), but will define itself by its innovative products, Steve McMillan said.
"Subject to Qatar's regulatory authority, Imex will launch at the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008," McMillan said.
"We will begin talking about our contracts by the end of the third quarter, the beginning of the fourth quarter, as we don't want to alert our competitors to our ideas. The aim of each contract is to create something slightly different," he said.
The exchange is looking at a variety of products to offer, including contracts in liquefied natural gas and carbon emissions.
"Few hydrocarbons contracts have price transparency, such as LNG, jet fuel, carbon emissions. We won't have any competitors because we will be using new products," he said.
According to reports, the exchange is considering LNG contracts, although the possibility of a spot market is limited as most LNG is tied up in long-term contracts between the supplier and consumer at an agreed price.
"LNG is just one of the products we are considering. But wherever there is a commodity, there is the possibility of creating a market around it," he said.
The exchange will be talking to market participants such as national governments and regional and international oil firms to determine its offerings, McMillan said.
Another oil futures contract could be part of Imex. "[Oil futures contracts] WTI and Brent don't represent the global crude market. There is always room for innovative products," is all McMillan would say about the possibility of launching crude oil contracts.
West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude are global benchmarks for crude oil pricing, but they do not represent oil from the largest producing area, the Middle East, which has a lot of sour crude that is highly sulfuric and tends to sell at a discount. - Reuters