Amman Stock Exchange

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Amman Stock Exchange
Founded 1999
Headquarters Amman, Jordan
Key People Jalil Tarif, CEO
Products ASE index

Jordan's Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) is one of the Middle East's mid-sized securities exchanges with a total market capitalization of about US$31.5 billion, less than half that of number three-ranked Qatar Exchange. Once one of the region's fastest-growing small exchanges, growth has slowed as non-Jordanian Arab investors lost enthusiasm for Jordan's stock market from 2007 to 2009.

The ASE is a member exchange of the World Federation of Exchanges.[1][2]


The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) was established early 1999 as a private, independent institution governed by a seven-member board of directors with membership consisting of Jordan's 70-odd brokerages.[3] The ASE was first admitted to the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) as an affiliate member in 2004,[4] the same year that the base values of the ASE's weighted and unweighted price index was changed from 100 to 1,000.

From 2002 until 2007, the year before the global financial collapse, the ASE grew quickly from a market capitalization of 5 billion Jordanian dinars to 29.2 billion Jordanian dinars over the 5-year period.[5] But since 2007 the ASE's growth has slowed as the global investment downturn has taken hold. Market cap peaked at around 29 billion Jordanian dinars in 2007 but two years later had dropped to 22.5 billion Jordanian dinars while the ASE index fell from 7519 to 5520 over the same period. Listings continued to grow, however, rising from 245 corporations in 2007 to 272 last year.

Early signs in 2010 indicate that foreign investment on the ASE was continuing its recent decline. In January 2010 the total value of shares bought by non-Jordanians on the exchange fell by $25 million compared to the $7.1 million increase in January 2009.[6] For the whole of 2009, net foreign investment on the ASE fell by $5.4 million whereas 2008 saw a net increase of $440 million. Most foreign investment on the ASE originates from other Arab countries in the Middle East region.

In 2009 the ASE upgraded its NSC V900 electronic trading service and also a more interactive Web site. Nonetheless, trading volume on the ASE dropped by more than half in 2009 although share turnover held firm, while the ASE index fell by 8.1 percent. Last year was also bad news for the ASE's largest company by market capitalization, Arab Bank Group, whose pre-tax profit plunged 31% to $783 million due largely to non-peforming loans.[7] Arab Bank's ASE share price dropped from 13 Jordanian dinars on Feb. 11, 2008 to 11.3 on the same date in 2009.

Key people[edit]

Jalil Tarif has held the position of chief executive officer of the ASE since its creation in 1999 and prior to that spent six years as deputy director general of the ASE's predecessor, the Amman Financial Market (AFM).[8] He also chairs the global NSC-UNIX users group and the technical committee of the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS).