BSE to launch electronic trading system

File - Lebanon's Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil talks during a news conference in the Ministry of Finance in Beirut April 29, 2014. (REUTERS/Sharif Karim)

BEIRUT: The Beirut Stock Exchange will launch an advanced electronic trading system in collaboration with NYSE-EURONEXT International, officials announced Monday.

“This is one of the most advanced electronic trading systems in the world. This [system] will contribute to the credibility of the Lebanese financial market for investors,” acting BSE Chairman Ghaleb Mahmassani said at the opening of a conference to launch the new trading system.

He added that the purpose of the new system was to encourage the listing of sukuk (Islamic bonds) on the bourse and attract financing through financial markets as well as the banking sector.

“This system will also increase the supply and demand movement and buttress the investment confidence in Lebanon and the economy,” Mahmassani added.

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil hailed the step.

“We had the best financial market in the 1950s, and 50 companies were listed on the bourse then. However, we only have 11 listed companies on the bourse now,” he said.

Khalil underlined the importance of listing more companies on the bourse in order to stimulate the national economy.

The minister also noted that traditional family-owned businesses tend to seek loans from commercial banks instead of listing their shares on the BSE.

“We should encourage more companies to list their shares so they can expand their businesses,” Khalil said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 20, 2014, on page 5.




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