The ISX, which started operating in 2004, is a rare outpost of capitalism in a country dominated by state companies. It moved from manual to automated trading in 2009 and opens for trading for two hours a day, five days a week. Each trade takes around eight seconds to process.
The banking sector is the largest on the bourse, which also lists industrial, insurance, hotel and agriculture firms.
The total market value of shares listed on the bourse is around $3 billion, which Abdulsalam said he expected would increase in 2011.
Abdulsalam, who has four children and graduated with a masters degree in economics from Baghdad University, said he anticipated that trading volumes, which totaled 400 billion Iraqi dinars in 2010, to be higher this year.
The 47-year-old chief executive said the daily volume of trades so far in 2011 had so far averaged between $2 million to $3 million compared to $1 million to $2 million in 2010.
“There are many investors coming to the stock exchange … The last two sessions were more than $3 million. The last session [Wednesday] was about $6 million,” Abdulsalam said.
“At the end of this year, I believe the figures will be more than 2010.”
Abdulsalam said he expected up to 10 new listings, mainly banking and industrial stocks, on the bourse this year.
He also said he hoped to get the ISX onto the World Federation of Exchanges this year, and expected real-time data from the stock exchange to be available on its website www.isx-iq.net in the next six months.
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