Erbil Stock Exchange Taps NASDAQ OMX's X-Stream Trading Technology

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NEW YORK and ERBIL, Iraq, Nov. 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The NASDAQ OMX Group (Nasdaq:NDAQ) and the Erbil Stock Exchange (ESX) have signed an agreement to power the ESX with NASDAQ OMX's X-stream trading technology to increase market participant involvement, in the region and internationally. X-stream will provide ESX with a solution to trade equities and debt instruments, and position ESX to move into other asset classes as its market expands.

"This is a historical moment that not only illustrates our strategic relationship with NASDAQ OMX, but also, by the creation of a modern stock exchange, will support a market-oriented economy and promote investment in the Kurdistan region," said Abdullah Ahmed Abdul Raheem, Chairman, ESX.

ESX's decision to adapt X-stream technology from NASDAQ OMX is the result of a comprehensive market analysis by the ESX Board and its advisor, the Louis Borger Group Inc. (LBG). The analysis supported ESX's belief that multiple markets must operate in a very similar manner, enabling investors to move seamlessly between the markets with their investment activity. The X-stream platform will provide ESX with proven access to international investors and will ensure that ESX will remain current with the most updated trading platform technologies and trends facilitating regional and global securities business. The new trading platform can also disseminate real-time market data and may be also used as an index calculation engine.

The new trading system will be implemented in a two-phased process: phase one is the actual delivery of X-stream, which includes the configuration, installation and testing of a customized X-stream version that meets ESX business requirements; the second phase will cover the ongoing support and maintenance of the system, for a period of five years, utilizing NASDAQ OMX's extensive global status as a market and technology leader, and its customer support network.

"This partnership with ESX is an exciting opportunity to help establish a new open and transparent market that will expand their business and bring investors to the region," said Lars Ottersgård, Senior Vice President, Market Technology, NASDAQ OMX. "NASDAQ OMX, like ESX, has the belief that well-functioning capital markets are cornerstones for economic development and encourage a well-balanced model of growth."

NASDAQ OMX's X-stream technology is currently used by over 26 exchanges, making it one of the most widely-operated trading systems in the world.

About NASDAQ OMX:

The inventor of the electronic exchange, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc., fuels economies and provides transformative technologies for the entire lifecycle of a trade - from risk management to trade to surveillance to clearing. In the U.S. and Europe, we own and operate 26 markets, 3 clearinghouses and 5 central securities depositories supporting equities, options, fixed income, derivatives, commodities, futures and structured products. Able to process more than 1 million messages per second at sub-40 microsecond speeds with 99.99% uptime, our technology drives more than 70 marketplaces in 50 developed and emerging countries into the future, powering 1 in 10 of the world's securities transactions. Our award-winning data products and worldwide indexes are the benchmarks in the financial industry. Home to approximately 3,400 listed companies worth $6 trillion in market cap whose innovations shape our world, we give the ideas of tomorrow access to capital today. Welcome to where the world takes a big leap forward, daily. Welcome to the NASDAQ OMX Century. To learn more, visit www.nasdaqomx.com. Follow us on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/NASDAQ) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/nasdaqomx). (Symbol: NDAQ and member of S&P 500)

About ERBIL STOCK EXCHANGE:

ESX is a private sector led initiative with committed Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) support. It positions Kurdistan as a gateway to investment in Iraq and its growth-oriented companies. ESX was set-up as a joint stock company with share-ownership from day 1 with majority ownership by the private sector. ESX has an initial capitalization of over IQD10 billion (US$8 million) with 56 shareholders comprising reputable companies, financial institutions, chambers of commerce as well as the Ministry of Finance of KRG among others. ESX governance structure consist of a diversified 7-member Board of Directors.

ESX is modern market that parallels legislation, regulations, institutions, technology, information and processing of the developed markets in the region. ESX falls under the regulatory purview and oversight of the Iraq Securities Commission (ISC) and the Kurdistan Governance Committee (KGC).

ESX business model is designed to create a sustainable market with assured revenue streams from:

  • Primary Market (To Include Any New/Additional Offerings) Issuance of Equity and Fixed Income Securities;
  • Secondary Market Listing;
  • Government Securities Market; and
  • Growth in Market Capitalization (From New Issues, Stock Price Increases and Secondary Offerings).

ESX business is set up to manage its own independent trading platform with the intent to share one common post-trade processing platform with other stock exchanges operating in Iraq under the regulatory oversight of the ISC.

Among many other benefits, ESX will lower cost of capital to issuers; unlock value of the region's companies; serve as the basis for firms to eventually list in other established markets,, increase awareness among investing public and enable better investment choices.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The matters described herein contain forward-looking statements that are made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about X-stream and NASDAQ OMX's other products and offerings. We caution that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other factors beyond NASDAQ OMX's control. These factors include, but are not limited to factors detailed in NASDAQ OMX's annual report on Form 10-K, and periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to release any revisions to any forward-looking statements.

NDAQG

CONTACT: NASDAQ OMX Media Contact: Ryan Wells (212) 231-5541 (office) (646) 581-4286 (mobile) Ryan.Wells@NASDAQOMX.com Erbil Stock Exchange Media Contact: Lukman Surji Communication Manager Mobile: +964 750 427 3663 Email : lsurji@erbil-esx.com

Source:The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.