Afghanistan to build financial centre

Project will be modelled on the Dubai International Financial Centre

Afghanistan’s bankers plan to set up a financial centre to house the country’s 17 banks and its first ever stock market, it was announced on Monday.

Modelled on the Dubai International Financial Centre, the free zone financial district is intended to be the centre of Afghanistan’s financial industry, and will also contain retail shops, food and beverage outlets, offices and brokerage companies.

“We are hoping to create a free zone financial district, with the banks and the stock market all in the same facility,” said Ahmad Bassam, a partner at the Afghanistan Stock Exchange.

“It’s a very ambitious plan, to create the equivalent of the DIFC. It will be a symbolic building zone and will stand for the country,” he told The National, a UAE based newspaper.

The design of the Afghanistan Stock Exchange building will be chosen from a competition that will see the country’s top architecture students submit designs. A panel will select the top three designs and let the public vote on what the building should look like.

Bassam added that his firm, Afghanistan Financial Services, had been awarded the stock market license.

The company’s responsibility spans from everything such as establishing the operational side of the market, bringing companies and potential investors on board. In addition, it will encourage partners such as NADAQ OMX to come on board and set up a trading platform for the exchange.


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