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05 March 2024

LSE to partner with Qatar

By Frank Kane in London



The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is to choose Qatar as its main Gulf partner for the development of a regional financial market, Emirates Business can reveal.


One clinching factor in the Qatar/LSE deal was the fact that Dubai’s shareholding came from Nasdaq, the New York exchange that made a hostile and unsuccessful attempt to take over the LSE three years ago.


Clara Furse, the LSE’s chief executive officer, believes that Dubai’s relationship with American stock exchange Nasdaq rules out any long-term collaboration, despite Borse Dubai’s 20 per cent share in the LSE.


Furse also believes that Dubai’s alliance with the Americans – they are co-operating in the development of Nasdaq-DIFX, the Dubai international market – would make any deal with Dubai impossible on grounds of conflict of interest.


The decision, which will disappoint Dubai in its ambitions to attract the LSE to the UAE, has already been made in principle, and an announcement could come within weeks, according to senior LSE officials.


Furse and her fellow LSE executives have a two-year old relationship with their opposite numbers in Qatar. Their impending deal will involve LSE supplying services and technology to further develop the Doha Stock Market.


“We  have nothing against Dubai, but they must believe Nasdaq can do a better job for them. They [Borse Dubai executives] have chosen to ally themselves with Nasdaq, which is a major competitor to LSE. They cannot do a deal with both of us,” said a senior LSE executive.


Since Borse Dubai acquired the stake as part of the complex deal between Nasdaq and OMX of Sweden, there have been top-level meetings involving Furse, Essa Kazim and Soud al Ba’alawy, the chairman and vice-chairman of Borse Dubai. LSE was reassured that Dubai is a supportive, long-term shareholder.