The Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) plans to upgrade its current trading platform, according to an agreement the Baghdata-based marketplace entered with Nasdaq OMX.
Under terms of the agreement, ISX will replace its existing Nasdaq OMX platform (Horizon) with one powered by the X-stream technology. A rollout of the upgrade is planned for mid-year 2014.
The upgrade to X-stream will provide ISX with a widely deployed high-end, multi-asset trading platform that complies with international standards, according to Nasdaq OMX. The move is also a step in ISX's ambition to become a Middle Eastern hub, able to host and facilitate other regional markets.
"We are committed to becoming one of the most innovative and groundbreaking exchanges, in the Middle East and across the world,” stated Taha A. Abdulsalam, CEO, Iraq Stock Exchange. “Upgrading our trading technology and continuing our partnership with NASDAQ OMX is a clear indication to investors, regulators and other exchanges that Iraq will continue to become a financial center for more regional and global businesses.”
Commenting on the agreement, Lars Ottersgård, SVP, Market Technology for NASDAQ OMX, said the new “trading platform ... is certain to put them at the technology forefront of exchanges in the Middle East.” “The upgrade to X-stream technology will equip ISX with a sophisticated and robust trading platform that increases investor involvement both in the Middle East and internationally.”
In less than a decade, traded shares in ISX increased almost 10-fold, to more than 1.2 billion traded shares expected in 2013, while market capitalization increased more than seven times over the same period to over $12,170 billion USD in the first six months of 2013 alone.
According to Michèle Carlsson, Head of Business Development, Middle East and Africa for NASDAQ OMX, who is also quoted in the release, “ISX recently implemented one of the most successful IPOs in the Middle East and by upgrading to our X-stream technology, ISX will be running a resilient market place that will attract both Iraqi and international investors.” Nasdaq OMX’s X-Stream technology is currently used by 25 exchanges globally.
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