Authorities have made the announcement as residents plan to celebrate the last long weekend of the year
The exchange, fully open to foreign investment, has said it will list five certificates tracking leading stock indices.
The certificates, issued by Deutsche Bank, track the US Standard & Poors 500 Index, Japan’s Nikkei 225, Europe’s Dow Jones STOXX 50 and EURO STOXX 50 and Germany’s DAX.
It will also list global depositary shares of regional mobile phone company Investcom, most likely in October, after the telecoms company completes an initial public offering.
When trading started at 2 p.m. local time (1000 GMT) no companies were yet listed on the bourse.
DIFX’s debut also marks a milestone for the Dubai International Financial Centre as it strives to become the gateway for global financial investment in the region.
“To attract international institutional investors it is really important that a market has all the qualities present in the most mature markets,” commented DIFX chairman Lynton Jones.
“That wasn’t present in the Arab world before now,” he added.
Jones told a capital markets seminar last week that the Middle East was a major source of capital with a rapidly growing economy, but it was outside the world’s international financial community.
Setting up DIFX and DIFC, with their international style rules and regulations, is an attempt to change that.
Jones said the creation of DIFX was necessary to attract international institutional investors, market participants with international regulations and features such as central counter party, linkages to payments systems, clearance and settlement systems and market maker mechanisms.
DIFX has said it will open with up to four brokers, some of them in remote locations, and will elaborate later about the type of new products and the general timeline over which they will be introduced.
Trading hours were set at 2 p.m.- 5 p.m. Monday to Friday in order to encourage international investors, especially from Europe where markets are open during that period.
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