Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dubai to host world's first real estate exchange regional branch

The regional branch of the world's first specialized real estate exchange is all set to be housed in Dubai, and will be operated by the Irex Group of Canada.

The Group yesterday announced plans to launch its first group of exchanges - Irex Europe/MENA and Irex Canada in 2012. The company is seeking authorization to establish an operating branch in Dubai to service issuers and manage listings in the MENA region. It also aims to operate an Irex exchange in London on obtaining approval of the FSA (Financial Services Authority).

The company will create and operate a regulated securities marketplace for listing and trading of real estate assets in major financial centers across the world.
The exchange will list securities of real estate projects that are approved and licensed by government authorities.

Irex Europe/Mena will have its headquarters in London, and branch offices in various EU member states and the MENA region. Irex Canada will be headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.

"The development of a real estate exchange took 10 years and at present we are in the process of establishing this exchange on the ground," said Safar Al Harthi, Executive Chairman, Irex Group.

He continued that Dubai is the preferred location for the regional branch in the real estate exchange, given its infrastructure and regulatory framework that supports the launch of the exchange.

Although, no final decision has been taken in this regard, there have been invitations from three GCC states to host the regional exchange. But, Dubai was the first to invite and is the preferred location, and therefore, it is our first priority, he said.

The real estate exchange will be dedicated for trading in asset-backed securities of the real estate sector only, and this will be unique across the world.

The exchange will create a wide variety of financial instruments to securities real estate assets such as RPI units (Real Property Investment Units), Reits (Real Estate Investment Trusts), common shares, trust structures and debt securities.

The developers can access liquidity through securitizing their projects in the exchange. They can overcome their current shortage of liquidity due to financial crisis, and this will help them in continuing their operations, he said.

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