Inauguration of Damascus Stock Exchange - 11/03/2009
Syriasteps, The Syria report, Kuna, on Tuesday 11 March, 2009
The Syrian Minister of Finance, Muhammad al-Hussain announced the inauguration of the Damascus Stock Exchange (DSE) on10 March, 2009, with an official exchange session attended by Syrian officials and Presidents of Arab stock markets and listed companies.
DSE will start trading with five companies, including three banks, a transport company and a media group as follows:
Banque Bemo Saudi Fransi
Arab Bank Syria
Bank of Syria and Overseas
Al Ahlia Transport
The regulators of the exchange have, however, introduced a number of restrictions such as a limit of 2 percent on daily volatility in the price of stocks and a ban on the sell and a purchase of a stock in the same day.
Although criticized by some investors, these limits will limit the exposure of the exchange to price volatility. “Better safe than Sorry” a local broker told The Syria Report.
Two trading sessions are expected to take place every week, on Mondays and Thursdays, although on the first week a single session took place, on the 10th.
There are about 350 companies in Syria, 65 of which are public, 300 which are joint-stock companies (anonymous companies), 1,500 limited liability companies with capital reaching 500 million SYP.
DSE was opened on 29 January, 2009 with trial exchange sessions and lasted for three weeks. Exchange sessions have been determined on Mondays and Thursdays of every week.
The Syrian government is currently striving to encourage company owners to go public (to transfer their companies into public companies offering shares to the general public trough DSE).
It is currently working on a new law to regulate the accounting profession to meet the needs of the shareholding companies in terms of disclosure, arbitration, international accounting standards and will be issued very soon.
Five other companies are expected to join the DSE within weeks, after having received a preliminary approval. They are:
Bank Audi Syria
International Bank for Trade and Finance
Agricultural Engineering Investment Company (Namaa)
Syrian Arab Company for Tourist Establishments
Al Ahlia Vegetable Oil Company
To be formally listed, the companies have to transfer their registry files to the DSE's clearing and central depository centre.
Meanwhile, three new brokerage firms have been accredited to operate at the DSE when it starts. They are: