Soaring Iraq Stock Market Gets Electronic Trading

Booming exchange will do away with writing prices on whiteboards
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2009 9:38 AM CDT
Iraqis stock traders write on a stock exchange board, in Baghdad, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008.   (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Stock traders in Baghdad are preparing for a bonanza: the introduction of electronic trading, which will replace the current system of writing prices on whiteboards, reports the Times of London. Iraq's market has risen 30% this year as improved security and dirt-cheap prices—the most expensive stock costs about 9 cents a share—have let investors cash in. The tech revolution can only help.

Currently the Iraqi stock exchange is open for only 6 hours a week, and trades take 2 weeks to complete. Electronic trading is expected to boost prices and increase liquidity, and the market may soon be able to remain open 24 hours a day. The CEO of the exchange says the market will expand in both size and value: "I believe in one or two years I will have more than 200 listed companies."