Nasdaq Dubai launches futures trading with the launch of the FTSE Russell Saudi Arabia equity index. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Nasdaq Dubai has shown an improvement in traded value as market volatility picked up with a surge in real estate shares, and its senior executive hopes that this pick-up gets sustained.

Traded value on Nasdaq Dubai more than tripled so far in the year to $737,962 (Dh2.7 million), compared to an average of $262,246 in 2018, according to bourse data.

“We have seen new accounts being opened, and new brokers have come on board. So the population is expanding, it means that the platform has a wider coverage, and that for us is a good sign for the future,” Hamed Ali, chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai told reporters at the launch of FTSE Russell Saudi Arabia equity index. “We hope that (volume surge) continues. We are giving investors a choice regardless of which direction the market goes,” he said.

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

“The right formula of product diversity, and with increase in participation is what gives you that growth. The performance of underlying market plays a key role coupled with understanding of what futures can do,” Ali said, adding that “there are a number of products in the pipeline. We don’t want to flood the market.”

Separately, FTSE Russell’s chief executive officer, who rang the opening bell for the launch of Saudi index, expects an inflow of $6 billion due to the upcoming upgrade of Saudi Tadawul’s index in the emerging market gauge.

“We think this is a milestone for us and for investors in the region to really be able to access the Saudi Arabia’s market, and prepare for inclusion in the broader index,” Waqas Samad, chief executive officer at FTSE Russell said.

Saudi Tadawul will be included in FTSE Russell emerging market index from March this year in a phased manner in five tranches, and at the end the index will represent 3 per cent of the index.