Kuwait bourse to launch derivatives trading next year

Reuters

KUWAIT, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Kuwait's stock exchange plans tolaunch derivatives trading in the first half of 2014 using itsnew Nasdaq-backed trading system, a senior stock exchangeofficial told Reuters.

Kuwait's bourse, one of the oldest in the Gulf region, launched the "X-stream" trading system in May last year at acost of around 18.3 million Kuwaiti dinars ($65 million), partof its biggest technical overhaul in nearly two decades.

The main aims of the Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. systemwere to launch the trading of financial instruments and to clampdown on dubious market activity.

The exchange hopes to launch derivatives trading in thefirst six months of next year "if things proceed as expected,"Stock Exchange Projects Manager Issam Alusaimi told Reuters inan interview.

"By the end of this year we will have finished everythingrelated to I.T. infrastructure...the next step is to takeadvantage of the technology."

A Kuwaiti investment firm has already expressed interest intrading options, Alusaimi said, saying that the company'srequest had now been sent to the financial market watchdog. Hedeclined to give the name of the firm.

The system will also be ready for trading futures,exchange-traded funds and Islamic bonds if similar requests aremade, he said. Local and international investors will be able touse the system, he added.

The stock market suffered heavy losses during the globalfinancial crisis but has seen a surge in activity since thestart of this year, thanks to renewed optimism about governmentinfrastructure plans that may benefit Kuwait companies.

Kuwait is home to some of the largest investment groups inthe Gulf region such as Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO) and GlobalInvestment House.

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