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Tue 24 Jul 2007 04:15 PM

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Syrian stock exchange set for launch

Damascus Securities Market still on schedule to launch next month, says Central Bank of Syria.

The Central Bank of Syria says Damascus is ready to launch its long-awaited stock exchange, scheduled for next month, although there is still uncertainty over the launch date.

A spokesperson for the Central Bank told Arabian Banking & Finance that the Stock Exchange Commission has prepared a licensing system for market participants, systems to address disclosure, arbitration and dispute resolution, and laws and regulations covering professional conduct.

"There are several reasons for the delay in launching the securities market, foremost of which is an attempt to draft conditions that meet the Syrian market needs and provisioning of a sophisticated trading system that suits the nature and needs of the Syrian market," the spokesperson said in a statement.

Members of the Committee for Financial Markets and Securities came up with 900 requirements for the trading platform, before putting it out to tender.

To date, 21 companies that issue securities have paid fees to register for listing on the Damascus Securities Market, although not all have completed the necessary paperwork.

A Central Bank spokesperson said that there are likely to be 10 companies listed when the exchange begins trading.

Companies that are not ready for full inclusion on the market will trade on a parallel market until they are ready to enter the main exchange.

So far, 15 companies have submitted applications to establish securities brokerage firms or companies that provide other services to the market.

The permanent base of the stock market will be at the eighth gate to Damascus.