The Dubai Mercantile Exchange Limited (DME) today announced that J.P. Morgan has taken an equity stake in the Exchange joining a number of other leading global financial institutions and energy trading firms, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Vitol, Concord Energy, Casa Trading Limited, and a Shell Group company, who were announced as strategic investors in the DME in early August.
DME's Board of Directors approved the issuance of an equity stake of up to 20% to strategic investors, with core shareholders New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX, whose parent, NYMEX Holdings Inc, was recently acquired by the CME Group), Tatweer, a member of Dubai Holding, and the Oman Investment Fund collectively holding a 75% equity stake in the Exchange. The terms of the sale of this equity remain private and confidential.
Commenting on the announcement, Ahmad Sharaf, Chairman of the DME, said: "We are delighted to announce that J.P. Morgan has joined the DME as the latest strategic investor in the Exchange. Continued interest from the ranks of the most highly respected global financial institutions and energy trading firms to take an equity stake in the business underscores the success of the DME to date. Furthermore, it affirms the strong future prospects for the Exchange, the broader Middle East, and Dubai in particular, which has emerged as an important financial hub and energy trading centre."
Tom Leaver, Chief Executive Officer of the DME, added: "We could not be more pleased with the ongoing development of the DME, which continues to be supported by the addition of new strategic partners and ever growing confidence and participation from the global trading community. The addition of J.P. Morgan to our newly extended group of shareholders continues to reflect the industry's confidence in the DME and its value proposition. We intend to work closely with J.P. Morgan and our other new equity partners to take the Exchange to the next level."
"We are delighted to join the DME as a strategic investor," said Blythe Masters, head of Global Commodities at J.P. Morgan. "J.P. Morgan is fully committed to providing the Exchange with our insight and resources as it continues to evolve and grow. This partnership underscores our commitment to the Middle East region and the growth of our commodities business."
The DME currently lists its flagship DME Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract, the only physically delivered Middle East sour crude oil futures contract, which is increasingly seen as a global benchmark for the pricing of Middle East sour crude oil. The DME Oman Contract has seen growing levels of trading, which reached 24,980 in August, and are expected to continue to rise in the coming months. In addition, the Exchange recently launched the DME Brent Crude Oil Financial Contract and the DME Oman Crude Oil Financial Contract. In the first year of trading, more than 440 million barrels of crude oil were traded on the Exchange, a figure that continues to grow in line with strong interest, demand and growing participation on the DME.