DIFC governor Eisa Kazim rings the bell at Nasdaq Dubai on Wednesday during the launch of Saudi equity futures in 12 companies with a market capitalisation of 794 billion Saudi riyals. Image Credit: Nasdaq Dubai

Dubai: Driven by the launch of Saudi futures, Nasdaq Dubai expects its “fantastic performance” in the fourth quarter to continue into 2019, a senior bourse executive said on Wednesday.

Nasdaq Dubai launched equity futures in 12 companies, with market capitalisation of 794 billion Saudi riyals (Dh777.1 billion) including top names like Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), Al Rajhi Bank, Alinma Bank among others, bringing the total of equity futures to 31, including those from the UAE.

“There is a lot of international interest when it comes to Saudi [Arabia] these days ahead of the MSCI upgrade. What we want to do is, with our international participation we would like to give them a complementary product to Saudi Arabia. That’s where we see a mutual benefit between Saudi Arabia and the bourse,” Hamed Ali, chief executive officer at Nasdaq Dubai, said.

Saudi Arabia is expected to attract hundreds of billions of dollars of inflows from active and passive investors after it gets added to the MSCI Emerging Market index starting May, of which the UAE and Qatar are already a part of.

“The momentum [in 2019] would be dominated by [the] derivatives market in the first quarter, complementing the momentum that we already have in sukuk and Islamic products. We will remain active in the region when it comes to our equity effort. We are having discussions with potential candidates that would come to the market,” Ali added, without giving more details.

Nasdaq Dubai has a total of 136 products from various asset classes such as equity futures, sukuk, conventional bonds, among others.