On November 27, 2013 the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Erbil Stock Exchange (ESX) announced that the ESX will open for business in mid year 2014. It now appears that the ESX will conduct a pre-launch in August 2014. This will begin right after Ramadan. This will happen only if the prime contractor Louis-Berger Group Inc (LBG) completes the installation of the equipment and software necessary to conduct the test. The KRG signed an agreement to power the ESX with NASDAQ OMX’s X-stream trading technology for the region and internationally. A total of 26 exchanges currently use the NASDAQ OMX system. It is a widely used trading system in the world.
The system will be transparent and will go through a strict audit and inspection. This is great news but there will be challenges. In Kurdistan, there are companies who are only limited companies and not ready to join the ESX. The owners of the LLC companies have to be persuaded to convert their companies to public companies. It is unknown as of now how many LLC companies in Kurdistan are ready to convert and join the ESX.
The ESX was set up as a joint stock company with share ownership that began from day 1 with majority ownership by the private sector. The ESX has an initial capitalization of over IQD 10 billion (US$8 million) with 56 reputable companies, financial institutions, chambers of commerce was well as the Ministry of Finance of KRG.