NASDAQ Dubai, the Middle East’s international financial exchange, welcomed the listing today of Bank of London and The Middle East under the name BLME Holdings plc. The London-based Islamic bank listed 195,733,691 shares. No new capital was raised in BLME’s listing and no new shares were issued.
The equity listing will further promote Dubai’s progress since the launch of the ‘Dubai the global Sukuk centre’ initiative by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and in light of HH’s vision to transform Dubai into the capital of Islamic Economy.
BLME Chairman Yacob Yousef Al-Muzaini rang the opening bell at Dubai Financial Market (DFM) to celebrate the listing in the presence of His Excellency Mohammed Abdulla Al Gergawi, Chairman of The Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Development of the Islamic Economy sector, Essa Kazim, Managing Director and Chief Executive of DFM and Secretary General of the Higher Committee and Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, Chairman of NASDAQ Dubai.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council and the patron of the initiative for developing the Islamic Economy in Dubai said: “ The listing of Bank of London and The Middle East represents a positive step towards accomplishing the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to transform Dubai into the capital of Islamic Economy, especially as it comes a few days after the launch of the Islamic Economy strategy by HH Sheikh Mohammed aimed to develop the Islamic economy sector which reaffirms the commitment of various institutions and sectors in Dubai to realize this vision and the great interest it attracts from various regional and international institutions active in this sector”.
HE Mohammed Al Gergawi said: “As Dubai moves determinedly towards achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to transform the emirate into the capital of Islamic Economy, we are delighted that BLME, as a prominent Islamic bank with an international profile, has chosen NASDAQ Dubai as its listing venue. Its decision is a significant step forward in Dubai’s expansion as a global centre of the Islamic equity markets. BLME provides an important link between the financial markets of Europe and the Middle East and its listing underlines NASDAQ Dubai’s broad geographical footprint as an exchange that serves issuers and investors from the region and beyond.”
Mr. Al-Muzaini said: “NASDAQ Dubai’s international and regional links will give BLME the visibility and access to investors that it needs in addition to benefitting from its world class regulatory framework.”
Humphrey Percy, BLME Chief Executive, added: “Through the Higher Committee for Development of the Islamic Economy, Dubai has committed to establishing the Emirate as the economic capital of the Islamic Finance industry which greatly supports BLME’s position as a market leading Sharia’a compliant Bank. BLME sees the Listing as a significant step in realising our Shareholders’ ambitions for the bank.”
Essa Kazim, Managing Director and Chief Executive of DFM and Secretary General of the Higher Committee, said: “BLME’s listing on NASDAQ Dubai is a significant addition to the investment opportunities provided by the UAE’s capital markets. Following a sustained period of rising trading volumes on the country’s exchanges, as well as MSCI’s upgrade of the UAE, the listing further demonstrates the strength of the nation’s equity markets. The outlook is positive for further expansion including in the Islamic sector.”
The ratings agency MSCI announced in May that it will promote the UAE from Frontier status to Emerging Market status in 2014.
Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, Chairman of NASDAQ Dubai, said: “Following successful enhancements that have streamlined listing procedures on NASDAQ Dubai and strengthened its links to investors, the exchange will continue to upgrade its structure for the benefit of market participants. NASDAQ Dubai looks forward to welcoming further substantial regional and international equity listings, including initial public offerings, as well as developing new markets in Islamic and conventional asset classes.”
DFM is the majority shareholder of NASDAQ Dubai and the two exchanges share a common trading platform.