FTSE Russell, Nasdaq Dubai to start Saudi equity indexes for derivatives trading

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Nasdaq Dubai has signed a license agreement to launch derivatives based on FTSE Russell’s Saudi Arabia equity indexes in the coming months, the two companies said on Monday.

The move is part of an expansion of Nasdaq Dubai’s derivatives market and follows the launch of single stock futures on 12 Saudi companies last month, they said in a joint statement.

Monday’s announcement said the futures, together with other derivatives to be launched, are designed to attract global and regional investors including the many funds that use FTSE Russell’s indexes as benchmarks for investing in Saudi equities.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul exchange is being given emerging market status by FTSE Russell in March and joining MSCI’s emerging market benchmark in the middle of the year, which could attract $15 billion of passive, index-linked funds to Riyadh and billions more in active funds.

The Saudi index is up 9 percent so far this year as fund flows have risen ahead of the Saudi market’s entry to emerging market benchmarks.

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