New exchange in Lebanon with the infrastructure and participation of the Athens Stock Exchange
Athens Stock Exchange and Bank Audi SAL participated in the competitive bid process that was organised by the Lebanese Capital Markets Authority - CMA for the Establishment of a new Exchange (Electronic Trading Platform – ETP) in Lebanon, by forming a Consortium in which ATHEX contributed with its know-how as an International Operator and as Systems and Services provider and Bank Audi with its experience and leading position as a financial institution operating in Lebanon, and the wider Middle East and North Africa region.
Following a selection process where 3 bids were submitted, the CMA awarded through a letter to the Bank Audi-ATHEX Consortium the establishment of the new Exchange. The Consortium will contribute $20 million to the ETP's share capital. ATHEX's related participation is expected to reach $1 million.
The active involvement of ATHEX in the new Lebanese Exchange is part of the Group's strategy to leverage its trading and post-trading technical and business know-how and systems in running successfully the Common Platform concept, with Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) since 2006, in providing systems and services to the Hellenic National Natural Gas System Operator (DESFA) since 2017, in designing and supporting solutions for third parties in the financial industry, in setting up to provide systems and services to the Hellenic Energy Exchange (ENEX) (since 2018) and its recent involvement in the privatization of Boursa Kuwait (2019).
As a next step, ATHEX along with Bank Audi will closely cooperate with the CMA to implement an effective capital market which will appeal to local and international investors and contribute to the growth of the Lebanese Capital Markets.
Socrates Lazaridis, ATHEX Group CEO, said: "The successful participation of ATHEX in the selection process for the establishment of the new Electronic Trading Platform (ETP) in Lebanon is additional recognition for the Group as an international Market Operator and provider of capital market infrastructure services. The successful utilization of the relations that have been developed through our participation – as part of the Consortiums – in Boursa Kuwait and the ETP in Lebanon provides the base for enhancing our know-how of supporting capital markets in the Middle East. Also, the networking externalities achieved among peripheral capital markets in the context of capital markets internationalization, increases the prospects of international capital accessing those market and offers benefits to all participants in those markets."
About Bank Audi
Bank Audi is a regional group with a universal banking profile. The Bank offers universal financial products and services including Corporate, Commercial, Retail and Personal, and Private Banking services, in addition to capital market activities and factoring.
As at end-March 2019, Bank Audi's consolidated assets reached USD 46.4 billion, principally driven by private customers' deposits of USD 31.3 billion, with shareholders' equity reaching USD 4 billion.
Bank Audi's group staff headcount exceeds 6,300 employees and its shareholders' base encompasses more than 1,500 holders of common shares and/or holders of Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) representing common shares.
Bank Audi ranks first among Lebanese banking groups and is positioned in the inner circle of top regional banking groups. Its shares are listed on the Beirut Stock Exchange. Its GDRs are listed on both the Beirut Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
The Group currently operates in Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Switzerland, Monaco, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, Jordan, Iraq and Abu Dhabi (through a representative office).
Bank Audi Plaza, Omar Daouk Street, Bab Idriss, Downtown Beirut, Beirut 11-2560, Lebanon.
About the Athens Exchange Group
The Athens Stock Exchange, since its establishment in 1876, has been consistently participating in the financial and business developments of the capital markets.
The Athens Exchange Group consists of the publicly traded company "Hellenic Exchange-Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX)" (Symbol: EXAE), the "Hellenic Central Securities Depository (ATHEXCSD)" and "Athens Exchange Clearing House (ATHEXClear)". The group avails the expertise, infrastructure and appropriate certification regarding the following:
- The organization and operation of exchange markets.
- The clearing of transactions both in cash and derivatives products, constituting one of the seventeen (17) licensed Central Counter Parties in the EU, in accordance with the EU Regulation 648/2012 (EMIR), already providing clearing services for all Athens Exchange (ATHEX) markets - the Cash Market, Derivatives Market and the "Alternative Market - EN.A.".
- The development and operation of a private network for accessing the Hellenic Financial Ecosystem, providing access points in Greece, United Kingdom and Cyprus (ATHEX Exchange Network).
- The provision of systems, operations and services to the financial community (Investment firms, banks), market operators (Cyprus Stock Exchange - CSE, Hellenic National Natural Gas System Operator - DESFA and soon to the Hellenic Energy Exchange - ENEX) and third parties (colocation, application development, etc.).
The Athens Stock Exchange, which is a recognized "Designated Offshore Securities Market (DOSM) under Regulation S of SEC - USA, and by the MPFA of Hong Kong, through its markets offers solutions and financing tools to businesses, expands investor choice by providing a safe, stable and efficient environment in full alignment with international practices and the European regulatory framework. It holds the ISO 22301:2012 international standard for Business Continuity, for all its companies, including all its operations as well as the products & services it provides.
The companies of the group are active members of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE), the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), Federation of European and Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS), the European Central Securities Depositories Association (ECSDA), and the European Association of CCP Clearing Houses (EACH).
In a period when the role of capital markets in exploring alternative ways of financing companies is significantly enhanced, the Athens Exchange Group has taken a series of initiatives to increase the attractiveness of the Greek Capital Market and to promote Greek companies to the international investment community.
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