The Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) and Ayedh Dejem Group, a conglomerate from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have agreed to develop and launch the Middle East’s first-ever Sharia compliant Spot Gold contract to be traded on an international exchange. The partnership enables both entities to increase their presence in the Saudi Arabian and wider GCC Islamic Finance market, and attract the interest of regional Islamic financial institutions and banks.
This development is reflective of the growing potential of the Saudi Arabian and wider GCC regions Sharia compliant gold markets. According to the World Gold Council, Saudi Arabia’s gold demand stood between 60 and 85 tons. This is the highest in the Middle East and ranked sixth in the world; representing almost 30% of demand across the region. Sharia compliant gold investments are worth an estimated USD 2 trillion meaning the decision to launch this new contract is ideally timed.
Gaurang Desai, Chief Executive Officer of the DGCX, said, “We are looking at this product to develop local markets and unlock the potential of Gold trading in the region. We continually look to work with partners that allow us to capitalize on these opportunities. We are delighted to collaborate with the Ayedh Dejem Group as we believe the new Spot Gold contract will encourage new and existing institutional participants to invest and trade in Sharia compliant products. As the largest derivatives bourse in the Middle East, we are confident of the product’s success and establishing more such partnerships and launching additional products in the future.”
Ayedh Dejem Group is known as one of the largest oil transportation and storage platforms in the region, working closely with GCC producers. The group also manages numerous Gold Centers and is a key investor in the field of fixed assets, including infrastructure and real estate, while developing new projects in Dubai and the wider UAE.
Ayedh Bin Dejem, Chairman for the Group, said: “We are committed to delivering high-quality products and services to our customers, and, in addition, this partnership is further evidence of how we are contributing to the growth of the Islamic Finance market. We believe our partnership with DGCX supports our vision to enhance cross-border collaboration as it offers access to the regional gold and commodities market, providing customers with improved hedging and investment solutions in compliance with Sharia law.”
“Bringing Sharia compliant products to a wider audience will continue to garner interest from the local populous as well as other global entities that are looking for a route into the newest and fastest growing sector of the mainstream financial markets. Amanie Advisors LLC, the leading global Islamic Finance advisory firm, have been selected to advise on the initiative.” Added Desai.
Historically, Dubai has been called ‘The City of Gold’ and the Middle East are heavily invested in gold, it is an important asset class within any portfolio and fund managers tend to allocate a portion of their total investments to gold. The launch of this product appealing to a wider range of investors in the region is an ideal way for the Exchange to extend its reach.