DIFC governor Eisa Kazim watches as Robert Ansari, MSCI’s executive director and head of the Middle East, rings the market-opening bell at Nasdaq Dubai MarketSite to celebrate the start of trading. Image Credit: Nasdaq Dubai

Dubai: Nasdaq Dubai has launched trading on the MSCI UAE Index, expanding its futures market offerings.

The index comprises 11 companies that are among the largest and most liquid in the UAE. They include DP World, Emaar Properties and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The introduction of the MSCI UAE Index futures comes one week after Nasdaq Dubai launched single stock futures trading on 12 Saudi Arabian companies.

Eisa Kazim, governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and chairman of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), said: “The launch of futures on MSCI’s UAE index is the latest step in Dubai’s strategy of expanding the range of its capital markets product offerings, to cater for diverse segments of investors. We will maintain our focus on creating new ways to attract capital into the UAE and the region.”

The futures on the MSCI UAE Index were launched under a licence agreement signed in 2017, under which Nasdaq Dubai can also create futures on other regional MSCI indices.

“This agreement will allow a wide range of international and regional investors to access Nasdaq Dubai contracts on the MSCI United Arab Emirates equity index,” Robert Ansari, MSCI’s executive director and Middle East head, said.

More than $11 trillion (Dh40.4 trillion) in assets under management is estimated as benchmarked to MSCI’s indices worldwide.

Nasdaq Dubai’s derivatives market opened in 2016 and also comprises single stock futures on 29 leading UAE-listed and Saudi-listed companies, as well as futures on the DFM general index and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) general index. Nasdaq Dubai is preparing to add a range of further regional equity futures and options.