EFG Hermes, the leading investment bank in the Arab world, is giving institutional investors unique access to the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) through EFG Hermes Abwab, the first swap product in Iraq. With the addition of the Iraqi market to its footprint through the ISX swaps, EFG Hermes Securities Brokerage now offers clients access to a total of 14 markets. Securities Brokerage first launched Abwab in the United Arab Emirates in December 2007 the product is now available in nine markets, including Iraq. “We have seen a high level of demand for access to this new frontier market with many believing that Iraq, while still in its infancy, offers prospects similar to those in Russia or Turkey 15 years ago,” said Mohammed Ebeid, Co-Head of Securities Brokerage at EFG Hermes. “In view of our strategy of continually expanding our product offering to better serve the needs of our clients, we have rolled out this tailored ISX swap product through EFG Hermes Abwab effective immediately.” By accessing the Iraqi market through swaps — which are US-dollar denominated and exactly replicate the performance of the underlying Iraqi security — institutions have access to an exciting new market through the leading brokerage house in the region, which has a proven commitment to product innovation and to the highest standards of service and governance. “Trading through EFG Hermes Abwab will provide access for clients who face currency or mandate restrictions or whose investment policies mean they cannot use local custody and settlement procedures,” Ebeid noted. EFG Hermes also offers international institutional investors synthetic market access to Saudi Arabia’s stock market through participation notes traded on the Irish Stock Exchange. “EFG Hermes Securities Brokerage prides itself on being responsive in an industry — and a region — that changes rapidly. We will continue to offer our clients superlative service, unrivalled market access and tailored products, all supported by the most relevant and comprehensive research offering,” Ebeid concluded.