Posted on April 19, 2011

Qatar Exchange (QE), Qtel and NYSE Euronext (NYX) have concluded a major partnership agreement to enable the extension of the Secure Financial Transaction Infrastructure (SFTI) network platform to Qatar, connecting financial participants in the US and Europe to the Qatar markets.

The pioneering solution will see Qtel providing global connectivity, a complete disaster recovery solution, and premium network services to support the extension of SFTI to Qatar. By connecting QE and its market participants to SFTI, the important emerging marketplace of Qatar will join the global trading community and liquidity pools already connected to this high performance financial network. An unprecedented community of major US and European financial institutions including brokers, investment banks and investors are already connected to SFTI via access centres in Europe, Asia and the US, enabling them to quickly and easily access trading markets or offer their own value-added services.

The addition of Doha as a new SFTI destination completes another step in the strategic plan to transform Qatar into a centre for international finance in the Middle East. The comprehensive solution provided by Qtel ensures that the SFTI extension is supported by the highest levels of connectivity, reliability and security. Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Exchange Andre Went, on his part, said: "Today’s implementation is another important step towards our long-term goal of establishing Qatar Exchange as a tier-one equity market. The stability and security provided by our world-class network solution will enable the introduction of SFTI in 2011, demonstrating the benefits of the strategic partnership between Qatar Holding and NYSE Euronext."

For his part,, Executive Director, Business Solutions, Qtel, Eng. Khalid Abdulla Al Mansouri said: "With the advanced technology solution provided by Qtel, Qatar Exchange will benefit from a robust world-class connectivity with NYSE Euronext’s global network, ensuring that Qatar increases its international profile by providing significant benefits for investors." CEO, NYSE Technologies Stanley Young, said: "We are delighted to add the Qatar Exchange as a trading destination on our SFTI platform. Not only does the network extension give us a strategic presence in an important region, but further develops our strategy to facilitate cross-region trading and bring financial communities together. This extension is underpinned by world-class international connections delivering the level of reliability that the financial community requires in 2011."

Following the successful migration of QE and its market participants to NYSE Euronext''s state-of-the art Universal Trading Platform in early September, 2010, connecting to the global SFTI network is the next step in the overall QE development roadmap. The SFTI network was first developed in 2002 in the US, and was subsequently extended to Europe in 2008 and Asia in 2010. The market solutions provided by NYSE Technologies will help QE to extend its international membership reach and launch new products, and underline the value of the partnership between NYSE Euronext and Qatar Holdings to develop the leading market place in the region.

It is worthy to mention that Qatar Exchange was established in 1995, the Doha Securities Market (DSM) officially commenced operations in May 1997. Since then the exchange has grown to become one of the leading stock markets in the GCC region. Following a strategic partnership agreement between Qatar Holding and NYSE Euronext in June 2009, the DSM was renamed the Qatar Exchange (QE). QE currently has 42 listed companies and its market capitalization (end of 2010) is around QR450 billion (US$123 billion). The primary aim of QE is to support Qatar’s economy by giving investors a platform through which they can trade fairly and efficiently.

QE also provides the public with access to market information, ensures correct disclosure of information, and enforces securities regulations. QE is regulated by the Qatar Financial Markets Authority. Whereas Qatar Telecom (Qtel) provides a full range of telecommunications services in Qatar and across its presence in 17 countries. Our vision is to be among the top 20 telecommunications companies in the world by 2020 through expansion in both the MENA region and South East Asia. While NYSE Euronext (NYX) is a leading global operator of financial markets and, through its division NYSE Technologies, a provider of innovative trading technologies.

In 2008 NYSE Euronext and the state of Qatar announced a strategic partnership to build a new, internationally integrated cash and derivatives exchange in Doha, in which NYSE Euronext purchased a 20% stake. NYSE Technologies provides broadly accessible, comprehensive connectivity and transaction capabilities, data and infrastructure services, and managed solutions for a range of customers requiring next-generation performance and expertise for mission critical and value-added trading services.

NYSE Technologies offers a diverse array of products, services and solutions to: the Buy Side, including order routing, liquidity discovery and access to a community of over 630 Broker-Dealers and execution destinations globally; the Sell Side, including high performance, end-to-end messaging software and innovative market data products delivered on the world’s largest, most reliable financial transaction network; and Market Venues and Exchanges, including multi-asset exchange platform services, managed services and expert consultancy. With offices across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, NYSE Technologies offers advanced integrated solutions for the global capital markets community, earning the ability to power trading operations for many of the world’s best financial institutions and exchanges.