|Latest in trading comes to Beirut bourse - System provides faster services for clients, investors (Daily Star)
|The Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) on Thursday launched an ultra-modern electronic trading system as part of an effort to provide fast services for clients and investors.
Speaking at a ceremony at the BSEâ€™s headquarters, its chairman, Fadi Khalaf, told officials and investors that the NSC-UNIX system is the most modern trading system in the Arab world.
The new software, provided by the Paris bourse, is capable of processing 1,000 transactions per second. The system also can link to several European bourses. The NSC-UNIX system is also used in the stock exchanges of Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and other European cities.
In 2001, the BSE started a continuous trading system and has taken steps to link with Arab bourses. Continuous trading allows investors to place orders any time during working hours. Khalaf said that brokers and investors will be able to place their orders from their offices.
The French government financed 90 percent of the project as part of a protocol signed between the two countries in 1995.
Finance Minister Fouad Siniora said the BSE is capable of absorbing new public issues from securitization and privatization.
At present, there are 12 listed banks and companies on the BSE. Total trading in 2001 reached more than $95 million.
The BSE was established with the start of the French Mandate in 1920. In its early years, operations were restricted to gold and currency transactions. This market, the first in the Middle East, attracted investment from France and Syria as well as within Lebanon, and flourished with the establishment of mixed Lebanese-French joint stock companies in the 1930s, quoted simultaneously on the Paris and Beirut exchanges.
Trading prospered into the 1960s, but slowed with the beginning of the war in 1975. In 1983 the Stock Exchange Commission halted activities, a suspension that lasted 12 years. In September 1995, the BSE was officially reopened, and trading began in January 1996.
The Daily Star Redaction
The Daily Star