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Al Masri: The ongoing endeavor to transform the Palestinian Securities Exchange to a public shareholding company will be complete during this year


Maher Al-Masri, the Chairman of the Board of the Capital Authority, assured that the recent endeavor to shift the Palestinian Securities to a public shareholding company and list its shares in the exchange, will complete by the end of this year.   Al-Masri addressed the issue during a weekly debate program conducted by the Government Media Center in its Ramallah headquarters.  He stated that the stock exchange have been diligently working on making the shift for the past three years, requesting  that the Palestinian Ministry of Economy allow the shift from a stock market to a public shareholding company.  Despite a few issues, the ministry agreed to the transformation.  Al-Masri states, “And now, after taking the necessary precautions and requirements for the shift to a public shareholding company, there are no apparent obstacles that should halt the endeavor and therefore the listing” He added, “The transformation of the market to a public shareholding company gives more trust.  As does the separation of the Depository and Clearing Center from the market, it stands as an example of true global standards.   Hence, we decided to transform the market and part the Depository and Clearing Center from that market.  The Palestinian Securities Exchange will abide to the agreements of the decision.   This means that the public can interact with the market from one angle, which increases transparency, order and general trust, while the Depository and Clearing Center can operate from another separate angle”. On a different note, Al-Masri predicts three new listings in the market by the end of next year.   He stated, “Nothing should stand in the way of listing public shareholding companies.  We, as the Board, are operating on the original plan, in accordance to the dates announced previously.  He continued, “We are talking about public shareholding companies that will abide to the listing conditions, especially companies that involve financial balances, gains, etc… In reality there aren’t that many public shareholding companies.  We studied all of the public shareholding companies in Palestine, tens of them are no longer operating as they were registered from 1967. We had a small program that needed aid from external sources, in order to give insight on some of public shareholding companies’ situations.  We would then attempt to correct those situations so that the company would be qualified for listing.  It would insure that the company was capable and abided to all expected requirements of a listed company”. He then added, “The companies that were listed at the beginning of last year, now have a specific time limits to be listed.  From the list, there are three companies that have given specific time constraints.  We ask that they respect the time limit, to insure that the Board will not have to resort to using the lawful order to enforce (approaching deadlines).  We hope that we will be able to expand our base of companies, which currently consists of 41 listed companies.  Al-Masri then read off some of the trading volumes, and stated that they were “extremely weak.”   He then added that the second half of last year was “extremely difficult, the trading values were approximately equivalent to half a million dollars.  However the first half of this year witnessed a turnaround as the trading volumes increased dramatically.  Despite the relatively small number of securities listed, they are still the top in the region when comparing our booming indices to all other indices in the Arab world.


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