NEW YORK and BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The NASDAQ OMX Group (Nasdaq:NDAQ) has entered an agreement with the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) to upgrade its current trading platform. Under the terms of the agreement, ISX will replace its existing NASDAQ OMX platform (Horizon) with one powered by the renowned X-stream technology. The upgrade is expected to be rolled out by mid-year 2014. "We are committed to becoming one of the most innovative and groundbreaking exchanges, in the Middle East and across the world," said Taha A. Abdulsalam, CEO, Iraq Stock Exchange. "Upgrading our trading technology and continuing our partnership with NASDAQ OMX is a clear indication to investors, regulators and other exchanges that Iraq will continue to become a financial center for more regional and global businesses." The upgrade to X-stream will provide ISX with a widely deployed high-end, multi-asset trading platform that complies with international standards. The migration to X-stream is a step in ISX's ambition to become a Middle Eastern hub, able to host and facilitate other regional markets. NASDAQ OMX has delivered trading technology to ISX since 2007. "We congratulate the Iraq Stock Exchange on their commitment to a trading platform that is certain to put them at the technology forefront of exchanges in the Middle East," Lars Ottersgard, Senior Vice President, Market Technology, NASDAQ OMX. "The upgrade to X-stream technology will equip ISX with a sophisticated and robust trading platform that increases investor involvement both in the Middle East and internationally." In less than a decade, traded shares in ISX increased almost 10-fold, to more than 1.2 billion traded shares expected in 2013, while market capitalization increased more than seven times over the same period to over $12,170 billion USD in the first six months of 2013 alone. "We are extremely proud to support ISX's positive development and their vision to provide a well-recognized marketplace in the region," said Michèle Carlsson, Head of Business Development, Middle East and Africa, NASDAQ OMX. "ISX recently implemented one of the most successful IPOs in the Middle East and by upgrading to our X-stream technology, ISX will be running a resilient market place that will attract both Iraqi and international investors."