Erbil Stock Exchange to open in third quarter and aims to list 10 by year-end, MEED meet told

The Erbil Stock Exchange, the first equities market in Iraqi Kurdistan, is due to open in the third quarter of 2014 and hopes to have 10-15 companies listed by the end of the year, Erbil Stock Exchange chairman Abdullah Abdulraheem told the MEED Kurdistan Projects conference in Erbil this morning.

“Three local insurance companies are shareholder companies that could be listed” he said. He said three banks were similarly structured.

He said that the Nasdaq OMX securities system is now being installed to support equity trading.

Abdulraheem said about 18,000 companies operate in Iraqi Kurdistan. Most of them are family owned and small. He said 3,000 of the companies are owned by foreign investors.

Abdulraheem said that the Erbil Stock Exchange is encouraging owners to convert their businesses into joint stock corporations so they can be listed.

Abdulraheem said that the Erbil Stock Exchange would like to reach a dual listing agreement with the Baghdad-based Iraq Stock Exchange to allow companies to be listed on both bourses. He said that the Iraq Stock Exchange’s depositary was inefficient and that the Erbil Stock Exchange is interested in setting up a new depositary that would serve both markets.

MEED’s Kurdistan Projects 2014 Conference was organised in collaboration with the Kurdistan Regional Government, the KDBC and the UKTI. Taqa is strategic event partner. Conference sponsors are Drake & Scull, Falcon Group and Hill International. Jotun is exhibitor and Parsons is networking programme sponsor.