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Tue 20 Jul 2010 01:09 PM

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DIFC studies stock market for small companies

'Second tier' exchange could cater to companies with revenues up to $80m.

DIFC studies stock market for small companies
NEW OPTION: The DIFC is exploring the possibility of setting up a “second-tier” stock exchange.

Dubai International Financial Centre, a tax-free business park, is exploring the possibility of setting up a “second-tier” stock exchange for small and medium-sized companies in the Middle East.

The existing equity markets in the Middle East are geared for bigger companies, although about 95 percent of the firms operating in the region are small and medium-sized, the centre’s chief economist Nasser Saidi told reporters at the Gulf Venture Capital Association conference in Dubai on Tuesday.

The private equity industry needs a second-tier market where they can list smaller companies with revenue of $20m to $80m and which has less stringent listing rules, he said.

“We view this as an initiative for the region,” Saidi said. Discussions have been held with a number of private equity firms that may use the market although there is no timeframe yet to set it up, he said. (Bloomberg)

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