MUSCAT: In line with its strategy to secure an elevation into the ranks of Emerging Market stock exchanges, Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX) – the only bourse of the Sultanate of Oman – continues to press ahead with efforts to strengthen links with leading securities markets across the Middle East.
On Thursday, a high-level team from MSX met with key executives of The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) in Cairo for talks aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation and exploring opportunities for joint listings as well.
Representing the MSX at the meeting were Mohammed bin Mahfoudh al Ardhi, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Haitham al Salmi, CEO. Also present were Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala el Saeed, the Chairperson of Egypt’s Stock Exchange (EGX) Ramy el Dokany, and Executive Director of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE) Ayman Soliman.
The meeting stems from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by MSX with EGX on the sidelines of the visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi to Oman in June this year.
Thursday’s meeting was the latest in a string of successful outreaches by the MSX in its efforts to build stronger networks with well-established bourses in the region. The Omani stock exchange aspires to be upgraded into an ‘Emerging Market’ in the classifications of leading global indices, notably the FTSE and MSCI. Securing the coveted classification is part of a wider strategy to eventually privatise in five years via a listing on the MSX.
Earlier, in September, the MSX signed a MoU with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) – the second largest in the Middle East – to collaborate in contributing to the growth of their respective national economies. ADX also signed a separate pact with MSX to promote cooperation on dual listing of securities across the two markets. As part of this agreement, MSX will join the Tabadul platform created by ADX in collaboration with Bahrain Bourse (BHB) to connect regional exchanges.
Additionally, the ADX signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Muscat Clearing & Depository Company (MCD), a wholly owned subsidiary of MSX, for dual listing of securities on both markets and to further develop clearing and central depository functions in the two markets.
In May, the MSX signed an MoU with Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) to support joint cooperation between the two institutions.
In parallel with these efforts, MSX has also embarked on a strategy to deepen Oman’s capital markets as part of its mandate to harness the potential of these financial markets to drive economic diversification and national development.
To this end, it has teamed up with UAE-based Al Ramz Corporation Investment and Development and Oman-based Ubhar Capital to chalk out capital market opportunities. This includes the potential to promote initial public offerings (IPOs), diversify capital market solutions and encourage investment and attract investors.