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Nasdaq Dubai, FTSE Russell announce Saudi equity indices for derivatives trading

Nasdaq Dubai and FTSE Russell have signed a license agreement for the exchange to launch derivatives on FTSE Russell’s Saudi Arabia equity indices. In its first use of the license, Nasdaq Dubai intends to launch futures on the FTSE Saudi Arabia Index later this month on a date to be announced.

The futures, together with other derivatives to be launched in coming months under the license, will be designed to attract global and regional market participants including the many funds that use FTSE Russell’s indices as benchmarks for investing in Saudi equities.

The move is part of a rapid expansion of Nasdaq Dubai’s derivatives market that is currently underway. The exchange launched single stock futures on 12 Saudi companies last month.

FTSE Russell announced in March 2018 that Saudi Arabia would be promoted to Emerging Markets status in its global equity benchmarks from March 2019.

Commenting on the agreement, Hamed Ali, Chief Executive of Nasdaq Dubai, said, "With FTSE Russell’s benchmark Saudi indices being widely used by investors around the world, our collaboration with FTSE Russell expands the investment opportunities available to regional and international investors, introduces new product opportunities for regional markets, and complements our product offerings on Saudi Arabia. We look forward to further developing our relationship with FTSE Russell to create attractive new investable products in the region."

In turn, Waqas Samad, Chief Executive of FTSE Russell, noted, "As investors prepare for the inclusion of Saudi Arabia into FTSE Russell’s global equity benchmarks, we are delighted to collaborate with Nasdaq Dubai to enable the launch of Saudi index futures. Saudi equities are some of the most heavily traded of all the region’s markets, and the futures contracts are an important additional tool to give regional and international investors efficient access to this dynamic market. The Middle East region is key to our overall strategy and our collaboration with Nasdaq Dubai will play an important role in our activities across the region."

The FTSE Saudi Arabia Index contains 46 companies listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul, including Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, SABIC, and Al Rajhi Bank.

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