Bahrain Financial Exchange officially launched

The Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX), the Middle East and North Africa’s first ever multi-asset exchange, officially launched its operations on Tuesday February 1, 2011 with an official launch ceremony in Bahrain.

A 400-strong contingent of senior figures from ministries, government institutions, leading financial institutions, business houses, and exchanges were also present for the launch ceremony.

In attendance from India representing the BFX in his capacity as Chairman was Jignesh Shah, Group CEO & Chairman of Financial Technologies Group, BFX’s parent company, who was India’s youngest dollar billionaire in 2008. Bahrain based Managing Director & CEO of the BFX and the BCDC, Arshad Khan, was also present at the ceremony. During his time in Bahrain, Shah is scheduled to meet key ministers, senior government officials, finance professionals and businessmen to discuss business and investment opportunities in the region.

Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, commented: “The Central Bank of Bahrain welcomes the Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX) to the Kingdom of Bahrain and is proud that the CBB’s long track record and reputation as a transparent and effective regulator was a major factor in its location decision. I wish the BFX, its members and participants every success in establishing multi-asset markets within the Middle East financial services sector.”

Scheduled to commence live operations on February 7, 2011, the BFX will see two phases to its roll out. In the first phase, its Islamic division Bait Al Bursa will launch its e-Tayseer platform for general use on the February 7, 2011, followed one month later by its conventional division on the 7th of March, 2011. The phased approach has been purposely designed to allow market traders adequate time to develop their business on the BFX’s Islamic division ahead of the conventional market launch.

Jignesh Shah commented: “The launch ceremony marked the culmination of two years of concentrated work, during which time our teams have been working to ensure a seamless launch of operations. We are particularly proud of Bait Al Bursa (House of Exchanges), the first dedicated Islamic transaction platform in the region, and I am happy to say we have received interest from key Islamic financial institutions, a considerable milestone which demonstrates the appetite for our services, as well as serving as proof to Bahrain’s strong status as a financial centre. As well as our distinguished guests from across the Middle East, I would like to thank our patron, His Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, for recognising the contribution the BFX will make to the region’s economy.”

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