Jordan Exchange to Start Online Broker Trading to Boost Volumes

Jordan’s stock exchange said it plans to grant licenses this year to allow several brokerages to start online trading as the market seeks to boost volumes, which have fallen as regional uprisings deterred investors.

The amount of shares traded on Amman’s benchmark stock index dropped 57 percent in 2011, Chief Executive Officer Jalil Tarif said in an interview in the Jordanian capital today. The Amman Stock Exchange General Index (JOSMGNFF) tumbled 16 percent last year, compared with a 20 percent decline in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. (MXEF) Trading values dropped to 2.9 billion dinars ($4.1 billion) in 2011 compared with 6.7 billion dinars the year earlier, he said.

“Jordan has been negatively affected by regional developments, although foreign investments in 2011 in the bourse have increased,” Tarif said.

Financial markets in the Middle East and North Africa suffered losses last year as regional uprisings that ousted leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, as well as Europe’s debt crisis, hurt investor sentiment. Jordan’s measure slumped for a fourth year in 2011. It rose 0.1 to 1,955.33 at close in Amman today.

“The number of initial public offerings has been low and was affected by the crisis,” Tarif said.

-- With assistance from Nayla Razzouk and Zahra Hankir in Dubai. Editors: Daliah Merzaban, Claudia Maedler

To contact the reporter on this story: Mohammad Tayseer through the Dubai newsroom at mtayseer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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