The Second International Finance & Business Forum & Exhibition
Under the patronage of the King of Morocco, and with support of the Moroccan Ministry of Finance and Privatization, and arrangement by ITLALA Advertising & Publishing Fairs & Exhibitions Organizers, the Second International Finance & Business Forum & Exhibition will be held in Casablanca in December this year, which represents an economic activity aimed at supporting the mutual commercial and economic relation on the regional and international level. The ASE is represented in this Forum by Mr. Nader Azar the Assistant to the Executive Manager of the ASE. Mr. Azar presents a paper tackling various issues, such as the international financial markets legal transformation into privately owned and managed bodies, the most significant developments on Arab capital markets over the recent years in terms of separation of the supervisory from the executive, and the implementation of electronic trading and settlement systems in a number of Arab exchanges. The ASE participates also through a booth to display its publications in the exhibition. This Forum is being attended by a large number of ministers of finance and economy as well as businessmen from several Arab and foreign countries.
A Regional Training Program on Capital Markets
In cooperation with American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Jordan Securities Commission will hold a training program for people working in the Arab and Regional Capital Markets. The participants will be acquainted during this course with the experiment of the SEC in several legislations fields, of which the most important are: disclosure, investor protection and awareness, as well as other issues related to financial brokers and market participants. This program is directed towards contribution to developing and enhancing the efficiency of institutions and entities in the field of capital markets.
The 6th World Financial Information Conference
The Financial Information Services Division (FISD) held the 6th World Financial Information Conference in Washington, where the ASE was represented by Mr. Nader Azar and which was attended by about 300 participants representing the most influential financial institutions such as banks, financial markets, data vendors, IT companies and investors. The presented working papers emphasized on the legislations governing the information dissemination industry, as well the necessity to establish an organized international strategy which takes into account the accelerating international changes and have the potential to express and predict future, and expand the scope of information to cover more areas required by investors and interested parties.
The ASE takes part in Jordan Business Forum
His Royal Highness Prince Faysal Ben Al-Hussein inaugurated the Jordan Business Forum organized by Al-Iktissad Wa- Al-Amal Group. Mr. Ali Abu Ragheb, Jordan's prime minister and Mr. Rafiq Hariri, the Lebanese premier, Mr. Raoof Abu Zaki, the head of the Group, some 700 business and financial experts from 28 countries as well as several Jordanian and Arab ministers were present at the event. Over two days, participants debated several working documents on the future prospects of the Jordanian economy, trade and investment opportunities in infrastructure and industry, as well as investment potential in IT and tourism. On the second day, discussions turned to investments in the financial and banking sectors, available opportunities, and the role of special zones and free industrial zones. In this respect, Mr. Jalil Tarif the executive manager of the ASE made a presentation, noting that the JSC aims at regulating and supervising securities issuance and dealings, monitoring the operations and activities of bodies that fall within its supervision, and monitoring the disclosure of information related to securities and issuers. He said that electronic trading at the ASE provides a state-of-the-art technology that tallies with international developments, assures transparency of trading operations and smooth and fair execution of orders, facilitates monitoring over trading operations and disseminates on line information. He noted that the ASE has finalized putting into operation the MIS, which assures the production of reports and bulletins in the swiftest manner possible. The technological advancement that the ASE has always aspired to keep had a clear and resounding effect on the development of the capital market, which attracted foreign investment and bolstered trust among those concerned with the capital market. That requires mobilization of skills and training of human resources, things that the ASE has succeeded in implementing via the market efficiency concept.
The ASE participated at ajex 2003
The ASE participated in the second annual meeting of AJEX which was held in Amman in October, with more than 800 participants from all over the world, representing Jordanian and US business men, service providers and investors. The conference focused on Jordanian trade relations with adjacent countries and the important economic role Jordan plays in the region. Mr. Jalil Tarif the executive manager of the ASE gave a presentation on the most important developments on the ASE and its outstanding performance in recent years.
Workshop on Corporate Governance
Assessment of corporate governance in the Arab region, its relation to securities, its application within family-owned companies and the role of accountants, auditors and banks in the enhancement of corporate governance principles were some of the most prominent issues on the agenda of the Middle East and North Africa Corporate Governance Expert Meeting held in Cairo last September under the patronage of the Egyptian Ministry of External Trade, Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES) and Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). Mr. Jalil Tarif the Executive Manager of the ASE presented a paper on the legal and legislative framework for corporate governance in Jordan. The workshop was attended by a group from Jordan, along side other delegations from Egypt, Morocco and Lebanon, as well as representatives from the OECD and the World Bank.
First International Conference on Capital Markets
Organized by the Athens and Thessaloniki stock exchanges, the First International Capital Markets Conference was held in the Greek city of Thessaloniki with the participation of 12 countries, including Jordan, Egypt, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. A set of issues related to emerging capital markets, their development, the role of financial markets in economy, surveillance in financial markets and means of enhancement of surveillance, corporate governance, transparency, and data dissemination were debated. A special session was held to discuss cooperation opportunities among participating countries. Mr. Tarif took part in and headed a session on the developments of and challenges before financial markets, he noted the need for capital markets to focus on raising awareness of their importance and their role in bolstering investment and economic growth. He added that international competition of financial markets is growing, hence the need for them to restructure to gain more market flexibility and efficiency, and he noted the importance of regional and international cooperation among financial markets in terms of facilitating investment and investment flows amongst countries and the lifting of any constrains on the free flow of investments. Means of present and future cooperation between Athens Stock Exchange and the ASE to serve both exchanges were the theme of sideline discussions.
The Eighth Meeting of Euromoney
Mr. Saleh Horani, Chairman of the board of the ASE and Mr. Tarif attended the Eighth Euromoney Forum on Arab Financial Sector, held in Cairo, with the participation of more than one thousand representatives from Arab and non-Arab countries. The meeting was held to discuss the means of developing the financial sector in the Arab world and identifying investment opportunities. Mr. Tarif presented a paper tackling various issues, such as the international financial markets legal transformation into privately owned and managed bodies, the most significant developments on Arab capital markets over the recent years in terms of separation of the supervisory from the executive, and the implementation of electronic trading and settlement systems in a number of Arab exchanges. He said the overall capitalization of Arab financial markets approached the $300 billion, 40% of the GDP, and 1% of the overall capitalization of world markets, while trading on Arab markets did not exceed the 0.2% of global trading. He made a general reference to disclosure and transparency in Arab financial markets, and took particular note of Jordan in this respect.
Ninth Annual Meeting of FEAS
The Ninth Annual Meeting of FEAS was held in Sofia, Bulgaria last September. Mr. Nader Azar, Assistant of Executive Manager, represented the ASE and headed a meeting for the Marketing and Information Committee. The ASE was reelected as head of the same committee. The Byelaws were amended to allow for the adherence of non-stock members and to exonerate member exchanges that pass through hard conditions from their annual subscription fees. Bukharist Stock Exchange's membership was accepted, and various FEAS financial issues were discussed during the meeting.
Performance of public shareholding companies during the first half of 2003
Semi-annual results of public shareholding companies for the first six months of 2003 showed varying performance across sectors. 159 public shareholding companies, representing 97% of the ASE capitalization, provided their semi-annual financial reports. Figures indicated a growth in net pre-tax profits of insurance companies of 72.8%, with JD 6.2 million, as 3.6 million compared with the same period of last year. Semi-annual profits of the industrial sector grew by 6.7%, with an amount of JD55 million, against JD51.4 million for the same period of last year. The banking and services sectors' net pre-tax semi-annual profits went down by 5.2% and 8.2% respectively as compared with the previous year. Total assets of these companies across sectors went up by 1.2% reaching about JD26.8 billion, against JD26.4 billion at the end of last year. The net owners equity of these companies grew by 3.3% reaching around JD 4.4 billion, against JD4.2 million at the end of last year.
Workshop on Corporate Governance in Jordan
The ASE, represented by its Executive Manager, Mr. Jalil Tarif participated in the Workshop on Corporate Governance in Jordan organized by the Jordanian Forum for Economic Development at the Urdun Al-Jadeed Study Center, in cooperation with the International Private Enterprise Center and the World Bank Forum for Governance. In a paper entitled “Governance in Jordan” he presented public shareholding company governance, rules and laws regulating shareholder equity, Board responsibilities and stakeholder role in corporate management, transparency and disclosure of financial data and material information. He quoted some international experiences in corporate governance as well as corporate management in Jordan and the compatibility of these systems with international laws and regulations. Representatives of the Central Bank of Jordan, the banking sector, the JSC and companies operating in the telecommunications sector, the Chartered Accountants' Association and other economic and legal experts took part in the debate. This meeting is to prepare the path for Jordan's contribution in the regional meeting to be held in Cairo next September to discuss regional trends and the coming steps to develop corporate governance. The results of said regional meeting shall later be presented to the international conference to be held in Paris in November 2003.
Jordanian Economy in a Changing Environment Conference
Mr. Jalil Tarif, the Executive Manager, represented the ASE at the Jordanian Economy in a Changing Environment Conference held by the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan. In a session designated to the relationship between the stock market returns and macroeconomic indicators. Mr. Tarif commented on a paper and said that there is a correlation between the rise in inflation rate and the change in stock prices, where stock are often used to hedge inflation, noting that the inflation rate and interest rates in Jordan were quite low in the recent years, and that corresponded with open economic policies, trade liberalization, deregulation of investment in securities along with political détente in the region. He touched on the structural and qualitative changes that have been introduced in the ASE over the last few years, which have increased market depth and liquidity with the concomitant impact on market performance in terms of volume and prices, and ultimately more opportunities for economic growth.
Banking Technologies & Free Zones Exhibitions BATEX 2003
The ASE booth at the First Exhibition for Banking Technologies & Free Zones BATEX 2003 in Damascus received many official and economic eminent personalities, such as the Syrian minister of economy and foreign trade, the head of the Syrian Chamber of Commerce, the head of Investment Unit, university professors and many other interested persons. The ASE delegation to the exhibition included Mr. Jalil Tarif, the Executive Manager, Mr. Abdel-Razzaq Al-Farh from the Research and External Affairs Department, and Mr. Mazen Madi from the Administrative and Financial Department. In the ASE booth, the delegation presented the ASE experience, and the legislative, technical and quantitative developments that it went through over the last few years. 78 banking, financial and economic institution took part in the exhibition. The ASE participated in the Investment Horizons in Syria seminar that was held along side the exhibition, and during which Mr. Tarif presented a paper on the Arab capital markets and challenges faced by them, whereby he noted the urgent need to confront those challenges.
Amendments to the verification system of the shareholder registry
The Securities Depositary Center has introduced some changes to the verification system of the shareholder registry that is currently used in public share holding companies with a view to facilitating access to and accurate and easy follow up on such registers at the SDC. Under the new system, public share holding companies can access the whole registry in both sections the deposited and non-deposited, updated till the last day of trading, and to execute any inquiries by nationality or by stock of equity. The new system enables companies to confirm ownership records by way of attachment, lien or transfer of any of them to the non-deposited registry. It also enables companies to have access to the shareholder's detailed card.
Saudi Arabian Capital Markets Law Passed
The Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia passed the Saudi Arabian Capital Markets Law. The Law sets out the framework for the capital market including:
- The establishment of the Saudi Arabian Securities and Exchange Commission ("the Commission") with objectives of protecting investor interests, ensuring orderly and equitable dealings in securities business, and promotion and development of the capital market;
- The establishment of the Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange (SASE) incorporating the national Securities Depository Center.
Capital Market at the World Economic Forum
Davos World Economic Forum (WEF), considered as the largest international economic gathering, held its extraordinary annual meeting under royal patronage and with the participation of more than 1600 political and economic world figures. A large number of heads of states and governments, ministers, and large multinational corporation CEOs attended the meeting. The Jordanian capital market took an active part through the persons of Dr. Bassam Saket, Chairman of the JSC, and Mr. Jalil Tarif, the Executive Manager of the ASE. The WEF discussed many vital political, economic and social issues both at the global and regional levels. 30 sessions and workshops debating various political and economic topics were held, and the Jordanian economy figured on one of them. During that session several papers were presented on the investment environment in Jordan, and statistical figures were given on growth of the various economic sectors; and the ASE achievements and its unprecedented performance over the recent few years - in spite of the political and security instability prevailing in the region- were the focus of many participants. The WEF meeting was an opportunity for official and unofficial economic circles to meet from Jordan and the world.
FEAS Working Committee Meetings
Mr. Nader Azar, the Assistant to the Executive Manager, represented the ASE as chairman of the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS) Marketing and Information Committee meeting that took place in Istanbul last June. The Marketing Committee discussed many issues, including the FEAS Year book and monthly newsletters, bilateral exchange visits that the Federation arranges among member countries, and a host of other topics, such as investment in energy companies, derivative markets and risk management. Mr. Azar also made a presentation on the ASE and its most important achievements since its inception. The ASE also took part in the meetings of the FEAS Rules and Regulations Committee and the IT Committee.
Ninth Conference for Investment and Arab Capital Markets
The Minister for National Economy commended the Jordanian capital market role in driving economic growth and competitiveness, which has come through structural changes, regulating capital market, and an up-to-the international standards infrastructure, transparency and sound trading in securities. The supervisory and legislative roles have been separated from the executive role. Stock exchange trading operations developed into a state of the art electronic trading system that ensures swiftness and accurate execution and preserves priorities and saves time and effort. He added that the Jordanian capital market has witnessed over the recent years some noticeable developments both horizontally and vertically, whereby the market base was deepened and extended in terms of available investment instruments, capital market institutions, and efficient regulating laws governing this market. This statement was presented on behalf of Jordan in the Ninth Conference for Investment and Arab Capital Markets organized by the Al-Iktissad wa A'mal Group, in association with Banque de Liban, the Lebanese Banking Association and the International Financing Corporation (IFC), in Beirut last May, under the auspices of the Lebanese Prime Minister, Mr. Rafik Hariri. The conference was attended by the Secretary General of the League of Arab States and a large number of Arab and international senior officers and businessmen. The ASE was represented by its Executive Manager, Mr. Jalil Tarif at the meeting.
Scientific Day of the Business Administration Faculty/ University of Jordan
Mr. Jalil Tarif the Executive Manager of the ASE said that the ASE was able to make a qualitative leap over the last few years in terms of data dissemination, in a working paper entitled “The ASE Role in Dissemination of Financial Data to Investment Decision Makers” during the Scientific Day of the Business Administration Faculty/ University of Jordan. He stressed on the importance of information dissemination to investors and interested parties. He went on to say that the capital market institutions have given the financial data dissemination to investors, concerned parties and decision makers a prime importance, with a view to making information available to investors and interested parties throughout the world, in addition to introducing investment opportunities and the Jordanian capital market. He explained that the new securities law provided the appropriate legislative framework for disclosure and data dissemination of material information and events that impact the securities prices or public shareholding companies information or data. To uphold all of the aforementioned, the ASE has consolidated its presence both domestically and internationally through available technology, mainly, through data dissemination over the Internet, the Arab capital market network, the ASE publications, brokers' offices, Investor's Gallery, mass media and data vendors.
Annual Conference of the Software & Information Industry Association SIIA
Mr. Nader Azar the Assistant Executive Manager represented the ASE at the Nineteenth Conference of the Software & Information Industry Association SIIA that was held in San Francisco last May. The event was attended by more than 300 executive managers and decision makers from member companies and firms. Debate focused on the best means of developing software in relation to financial markets and disseminating information in light of the major developments and challenges to the industry. The Association has seven divisions and the ASE is member of one of the most important ones, namely the Financial Information Services Division (FISD).
Public Shareholding Companies' Performance
Public shareholding companies' performance registered an improvement in 2002 against the previous year. Financial data of 148 companies, which reported to the ASE via their annual reports and which constitute 95% of the ASE market capitalization, indicate a 2.7% asset growth as compared to the previous year, amounting to JD24.1 billion; an equity increase of 4.3%, reaching JD4.0 billion, as well as a 1.4% cash dividends increase against the previous year, standing at JD175.9 million. On the other hand, the net income after tax showed a 6.8% drop going down to JD 327.7 million in 2002, in comparison to 2001.This drop is due to the decrease of few major companies' net income. However, the number of companies that made profits went up from 103 companies in 2001 to 111 companies in 2002, and the number of companies that paid cash dividends rose from 62 in 2001 to 67 companies in 2002. At the sector level, the net income went up for the insurance sector from JD3.2 million in 2001 to JD7.3 million in 2002, namely a 124.3%, the banking sector grew from JD194.2 million in 2001 to JD196.7 million in 2002, by 1.3%. Whereas the industrial sector, dropped slightly from JD88.8 million in 2001 to JD88.0 million in 2002, by 0.8%, the services sector plunged by 45.4% to JD35.7 million in 2002, as compared to JD65.4 million in 2001. As for cash dividends, it increased for the insurance from JD1.7 million in 2001 to JD3.0 million in 2002, by 69.2%, the banking sector went up from JD56.4 million in 2001 to JD65.6 million in 2002, by 16.2%. Whereas cash dividends dropped for the industrial sector from JD57.8 million in 2001 to JD 55.2 million in 2002, by 4.6%, and the services sector from JD57.6 million in 2001 down to JD52.2 million in 2002, by 9.3%.
The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance as a settlement bank
By virtue of an agreement signed between the two parties, the Securities Depository Center (SDC) approved the Housing Bank as a settlement bank. As a settlement bank, the Housing Bank shall facilitate collection and payment of security prices, via bank transfers between broker bank accounts in a swift, accurate and non-stop manner. On the other hand, the Bank would also provide data and information to the SDC, which would enable the latter to supervise broker settlement accounts and conduct transfers through the direct network connection between the SDC and the Bank.
The Egyptian Center for Economic Studies' Conference
Mr. Jalil Tarif, the Executive Manager, represented the ASE at a conference held by the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies on “The Reason for the Failure of Some Companies, International experiences and lessons learnt by Egypt” during a main paper entitled “Corporate Governance in Jordan” whereby corporate governance in public shareholding companies and laws and regulations related to their work, shareholder rights, Board responsibilities, role of interest groups in company management, transparency and disclosure of financial statements and material information, as well as an overview of international experiences in corporate governance, and company management in Jordan and the compatibility of those laws and regulations with international standards were all tackled. The main problems facing corporate governance, particularly, separation of Board functions from the Executive Management functions as well as the issue of combining the post of Chairman of the Board with that of CEO in one person, the need to have an adequate representation on the Board of non-executive members, and audit committees, were all raised for discussion.
Disclosure of Financial Results
The JSC addressed the public shareholding companies that have not yet disclosed their initial results within the time limit set under the Disclosure Instructions, which is 45 days as of the end of fiscal year. They were informed that a delay in disclosure makes them liable to legal measures taken vis-à-vis those who are in breach, in accordance with the provisions of the Securities Law No. 76 of the year 2002. Up to March 15, 2003 there were 120 public shareholding companies that have disclosed their initial results against 69 who have failed to do so.
Week of Determined People 3: Jordan First
The ASE participated in the Week of Determined People 3: Jordan First, organized by the Hashemite University on March 9-13. It was inaugurated by H.E. Dr. Mohammed Hamdan, Minister of Higher Education, on behalf of his Majesty King Abdullah the II; and was attended by many visitors, teaching staff and students from the university. The ASE booth offered its visitors an overview of the ASE work and the legislative, technical and quantitative developments that have affected the ASE over the recent years. Many pamphlets and the ASE publications were handed out to raise investment awareness among visitors in general and university students in particular.
NSC Unix Users' Group Meeting
At an NSC Unix Users' Group meeting organized in Beirut by Beirut Stock Exchange and AtosEuronext, ASE was represented by H.E. Mr. Mohammed Horani, Chairman of the board, Messrs. Walid Najjar and Adnan Madi, two Board members, Mr. Jalil Tarif, the Executive Manager, Mr. Mohammed Al-Khatib, head of the IT department, and Mr. Sultan Al-Khatib, a trading officer. The European Markets Model was presented by the French Party who also answered questions put to them by Group members. Along the sidelines a seminar was held on the future of trading and clearing and settlement systems, during which AtosEuronext and Atos Origin Middle East Company plans of more involvement in the Middle East in general and the Gulf region in particular were laid out. AtosEuronext's successful mergers of various European stock exchanges (Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon) were quoted, and the state-of-the-art clearing and settlement systems used by it were presented along with their potential use in emerging markets given their compatibility with international standards. The French trading system used in Beirut and brokers' screens were also inspected.
The Largest Pension Fund in USA invests in Jordan
In an attempt to regulate investment policies in emerging markets which came as a token of trust in the Jordanian capital market, the California Public Employees' Retirement System CalPERS, the largest pension fund in the US, has approved 14 new members, including Jordan, on its list of targeted emerging markets. The listing decision was based on the stability and transparency assessment of the countries involved, in addition to other factors such as the applicable labor code and accounting standards. CalPERS stopped to its investments in Morocco, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Pakistan, Colombia and Venezuela and excluded investment in other countries such as China, India, Indonesia and Russia. CalPERS's estimated assets stand at $133 billion, $1.8 billion of which are invested in emerging markets.
The Ministry of Finance Monthly Bulletin indicated that the total proceeds generated from the privatization of the Jordan Telecom Company (JTC), Royal Jordanian (RJ) and others reached JD 615.4 million, 76% of which were generated by the privatization of the JTC. On the other hand, total expenditure from the privatization proceeds reached JD 309 million by the end of the year 2002. JD 111.8 million were spent on buying and swapping external debts, JD 40 million were utilized to finance Social and Economic Transformation Program projects, JD 88.4 million for financing different development projects, JD 63.6 million were spent on settling RJ internal debts, and JD 50 million has been allocated for housing purposes for government employees
Arab & World Stock Exchanges News
- Cairo and Alexandria stock exchanges have reviewed the indices they compute and disseminate to fall in step with international standards. They decided to opt for one index “Float Price Index Case 30” as of the second of February. The new index is weighted by market capitalization, adjusted by the Free Float, of the 30 most active companies from all economic sectors, to be selected on the basis of their trading and liquidity, regardless of their capitalization and profitability, public sector companies and affiliates are excluded. The index requires that free floats constitute no less than 10% of the company's subscribed shares. Calculation of free float excludes any strategic ownership of 5% of shares, founders' shares for the first two years of incorporation, as well as any shares owned by any company that has more than 30% of the capital of another company. The index was first calculated as of 1998 at 1000 base points.
- To better serve investors and interested parties, the London Stock Exchange bought out Proquote, a specialized company in capital market softwares and data dissemination. This is expected to step up the exchange's capacity to diversify services to its clients and to boost its return from said services, given the rise in demand on capital markets' data. The 3-year-old Proquote is known for its competitive prices and Internet services. Hence London Stock Exchange would be able to develop its services, provide them on the Internet at competitive prices, and connect financial services firms outside Britain by providing them with trading screens and linking them to the exchange's trading system.
- Osaka Stock Exchange, the second largest in Japan, plans to demutatulize by end of 2003 and to become the first Japanese stock exchange listed on the Osaka Stock Exchange. In 2001, Tokyo Stock Exchange was demutatulized and it plans to be listed by 2005. Osaka Stock Exchange is undertaking a study on how to minimize listing costs to encourage companies to list their shares on it and to increase its competitive edge.
Approval of Margin Financing Regulations
The JSC approved the new Margin Financing Regulations to be effective as of March 1st, 2003. A number of conditions are now required of brokers in order for them to be granted a license to practice marginal financing, by setting a minimum capital and equity of no less than one million JD, not to have breached the solvency standard over the last six months, to have the needed technical and managerial capabilities to practice marginal financing, and to present a bank guarantee of a JD0.25 million. The JSC is entitled to impose additional requirements on any broker that files for a license. The regulations set the ceiling for marginal financing at three times the net equity of the licensed broker, and the ceiling of marginal financing from the paid in capital of the licensed broker cannot exceed two times the net equity of the same broker, excluding banks. The amounts of finance given to any client cannot exceed 10% of the net equity held by the licensed broker or 3.5% of the ceiling of marginal financing for banks or JD0.5 million, whichever is lower. The regulations also oblige brokers to open up special marginal financing accounts for desirous clients, while it is forbidden for any person to open more than one marginal financing account at licensed brokers. The broker is committed to secure the first margin from the client prior to any purchase of securities, and the licensed broker shall calculate the maintenance margin for each account on a daily basis, provided that the client adjusts his account to remain within the margins set by the JSC. The JSC has the power to stop a broker from granting any additional financing, opening up new client accounts or buying securities with marginal financing if the licensed broker violates any of the stipulated terms and conditions or committed a breach of the law or instructions issued by virtue thereof.
Best Practices for Capital Market Development in Transition Economies
The ASE is to take part in the “Best Practices for Capital Market Development in Transition Economies” meeting to be held in Almati, Kazakhistan by Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges FEAS in cooperation with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD. Mr. Nader Azar, the assistant to the Executive Manager will be presenting a paper on the Jordanian capital market in general with a special reference to the ASE. The paper covers the most important legislative developments, namely laws, instructions and regulations which tally with international standards, as well as technical developments that were made over the recent few years, such as electronic trading, clearing and settlement, and the automation of capital market institutions in such a manner that guarantees efficiency, fairness, and swiftness to create a suitable and attractive investment environment.
Founding Committee Meeting of the Unified Arab Stock Exchange
The ASE, represented by its Executive Manager Mr. Jalil Tarif, participated in the meeting of the founding committee of the Unified Arab Stock Exchange born out of the Federation of Arab Stock Markets, which was held in Beirut last January, to review steps taken for the establishment of the said exchange. The Committee laid out the legal framework and means of implementation for setting up the unified exchange. On the sideline, the inauguration of the Federation's headquarters, was celebrated in the Lebanese capital. It had been decided back in 1982 when the Federation was set up to have Beirut as its headquarters.
Privatization Six Years Later
The Privatization Executive Commission report on the achievements of the Privatization Program over the last six years indicated that partially or wholly privatized projects secured about one billion US dollars' returns, part of which was invested to finance vital projects affecting all segments of the society, such as civil and military housing, telecommunications, water projects, universities, hospitals and ground stations. The report also stated that part of these returns was used to extinguish Jordan's external debt, and JD100 million were allocated to the Economic and Social Transition Program that aims at raising the standard of living of Jordanians. It was said that privatization returns became a source of finance to economic development efforts and general projects for the Jordanian economy. Moreover, these returns, mostly in US dollars, contributed to the improvement of Jordan's Balance of Payment and bolstered the Kingdom's foreign official reserves. The Economic and Social Transition Program which is largely financed by privatization returns accelerated the privatization pace of several projects such as the electricity, potash and telecommunications companies.
Forum On Managing Exchanges in Emerging Economies
Mr. Jalil Tarif, the Executive Manager, represented the ASE at the “Forum On Managing Exchanges in Emerging Economies” held in Malaysia by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) in cooperation with the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Many issues related to financial markets in emerging countries were debated, the exchanges' demutualization, corporate governance, money laundering and international accounting standards. Mr. Tarif met with the Executive Manager of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange on the side, and discussed means of cooperation and exchanging experience between the two exchanges, particularly in the light of the qualitative leap taken by the Kuala Lumpur Exchange through the introduction of new financial instruments, notably derivatives. It is worth noting that Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange will be demutualized and listed on the Malaysian market towards the beginning of 2003. The meeting was attended by 80 participating states, a host of international institutions, and a large number of universities, academic institutions and capital market specialized organizations from various parts of the world.
World Exchanges News
- Aiming at restructuring and modernizing New Zealand Stock Exchange, 85% of members voted in favor for demutualization of the Exchange in the annual general meeting. The Exchange will move from statutory member based entity to a more modern company structure.
- The TSX Group, which includes the Toronto Stock Exchange, commemorated on last November the listing of the Exchange shares at Toronto Stock Exchange, it became the first North American stock exchange to go public. The TSX Group conducts its business through the following for integrated operating devisions: Toronto Stock Exchange for senior listings, TSX Venture Exchange for junior listings, TSX Markets for trading, and TSX Datalinx for data dissemination.