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Nasdaq powers Iraqi stock exchange

Posted by: Phil Wahba Tags: DealZone, Doha Securities Market, Dubai, Iraq, Iraqi Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, New York Stock Exchange

Talk about trying to get a piece of an emerging market.

Nasdaq OMX said on Tuesday that its trading and clearing system was used in the launch last week of electronic trading on the Iraq Stock Exchange, or ISX, as it is known.

It is not the first time U.S. exchanges have partnered with counterparts in the Middle East. Nasdaq operates Nasdaq Dubai, and last year, the New York Stock Exchange bought a 25 percent stake in Doha Securities Market. But it may well be the first time an exchange struck a deal in a war torn country, another sign that Iraq may slowly be returning to a semblance of normalcy.

With 3,800 listed stocks, Nasdaq is well positioned to help out ISX, an embryonic exchange started in 2004 that lists only 91 stocks. About half of those are finance-related companies, such as Bank of Baghdad and Babylon Bank, while others include hotels and agricultural companies. Please click here to see the list.

Only five stocks are available for electronic trading for now, but a start is a start, and other stocks will follow in the coming months, ISX and Nasdaq said.

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