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Ahmad Aweidah, the CEO of Palestine Stock Exchange reported that PEX has passed two thirds of the way in seeking to obtain full membership in the Federation of World Exchanges, adding that achieving this goal requires the most accurate details.
About raising the level of representation in (WFE), Aweidah said in a statement: we are members of the Union from two years, where we were classified as a "Corresponding member", and with the high confidence of several members of the World Federation of stock performance in terms of both the legislative and legal environment, administrative structures, technological systems, in addition to the level of internal organization; this led us in September last year to submit a request to raise the level of membership, that has been achieved in last June after a meeting of the board of the Federation of World Exchanges, to announce its decision to upgrade Palestine Stock Exchange membership of corresponding member to (Affiliate).
Aweidah visions the membership upgrade of PEX" with a great interest, "not because it is the largest gathering of Stock exchanges in the world, but as a step quality that contributes attracting and alerting investors and the international institutional investors."He also said: lifting our membership would mean recognition that the PEX is classified as one of the best stock markets in terms of performance and practice in the Arab region.
Aweidah stressed out the importance of the achieved developments by PEX in recent years, stressing that the first half of this year witnessed several achievements that constituted an important milestone in the history of the Palestinian Stock Exchange, where the level of representation of PEX increased in the World Stock Exchanges Federation, and was able to persist in the green zone despite the political and regional storms; where AL-Quds index hit the money markets indicators in the Arab region with the end of the first half of the year.
Aweidah described the investment environment in the Palestinian Equity Fund a fertile environment, where the decent return on investment constituted an attracting factor for the access of some regional and global investments funds, Talking about the success of the local promotional campaign that was executed by PEX over last May and June, assuring that there is a need for more of such campaigns, but the goal was to highlight the advantages of investing in the listed shares and promote the investment awareness among the public, and draw their attention to the opportunities in PEX.
Regarding to the return on investment, which reached in 2010 to 13.6%, which is a standard record at the level of the Stock Exchange itself compared to other Arab, regional and even global stock markets, Aweidah said: This was another measure of the performance quality of the listed companies, where 22 out of 40 listed companies distributed with the end of the 2010 dividends either in cash or in the form of bonus shares, This return on investment is encouraging, and further assured that Palestine Stock Exchange is fertile and viable environment for investment.
Aweidah revealed that an investment fund for the Palestinian community in Chile began investing in the Stock Exchange since May last year, especially after the persistence and the outstanding performance of PEX, despite the vibrations to which stock markets suffered due to the surrounding Arab spring revolutions and it"s extended, also the outstanding performance of the large companies and listed companies in PEX constitute a pushing force factor towards the investment promotion.
Increasing the proportion of the foreign investment
On the political situation in Palestine, Aweidah stressed out that the political circumstances do no longer constitute an obstacle in attracting foreign investment, and the proof is the entry of many foreign investment funds in recent years as illustrated by the high proportion of the foreign investment in the stock exchange, which reached over 42%,"We now have an open and advanced market economies where modern legal, legislative and regulatory frameworks are available compared to the capital markets in the region, as well as there are no restrictions or taxes on the foreign investments, In addition to the maturity of the culture of governance and the disclosure, and the Stock Exchange infrastructure and high technology comparable to the capital markets at the regional and Arab level ".
He continued: these factors are encouraging and stimulating for the foreign investment. Regarding the expected political developments in the coming September, he reported : Despite the talk of an unidentified upcoming that may be difficult in Palestine after September, I remain optimistic, because PEX was born from the womb of such a difficult circumstances, and worked in conditions much worse than the situation now, and what might will be .
We seek to change misperceptions
During his context, Aweidah referred to the investment awareness, stating that the Palestine Stock Exchange attaches a particular importance to develop the investment awareness, the cultural investment "still modest investment in Palestine, and we work in the long term towards creating this awareness. A promotional campaign has ended days ago that was organized by PEX over the past two months and included local media publicity in all governorates including Gaza Strip, we don"t expect to have a magic by making a double circulation during this brief period, but what we want through these campaigns a task and accumulation of successes added to its previous, basing to FF, to raise our voice, we seek to change the misperceptions about PEX and the investing through it.
London road show
And in the promotion of investment in PEX, Aweidah pointed out to the promotional road show that was organized by PEX in London last June, Stressing on the positive impressions that was left in different British participating activities, formed a continuation of the dialogue with the main British investment funds, stating that it was appropriate to emphasize the opportunities and benefits of investing in the listed equities. While the previous road show and the one in the last year and the projected ones will constitute accumulation efforts of PEX to promote investment in the listed shares, reporting: we have seen a real interest among the investment funds and a desire to learn more about the Palestinian market, and this in itself is an achievement for participants in the road show and for the National Economy in general.
On the importance of such promotional road shows, he said: it is a part of PEX efforts to attract and bring the attention of investors , the investment funds and the regional and international institutions, Along with the PEX efforts in promoting locally, he added that the usefulness of these activities is for the long-term strategy, For example the intensive working meetings held by the Palestinian delegation constituted an opportunity to explain the viewpoint of the listed companies administrators in the attractiveness of investment in the shares of these companies to the officials and the decision makers in the investment funds and the institutional investors.
Aweidah ended his speech by assuring that the transparency laws and legislation, and the return on investment and other factors strengthened the presence of Palestine Stock Exchange globally, and it is probably was behind the description of a global newspaper as "The Financial Times " that PEX is a "Super dynamic force ".