The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has reported a year-on-year growth of 35% in the first half of the year, attributing this strong performance to a rise in investment firms and hedge funds setting up operations.

The international financial centre (IFC) and free zone witnessed a total of 102 asset managers operating in ADGM, managing 128 funds, which contributed to the growth.

This was also further boosted by the announcement of enhancements to the regulatory framework of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of ADGM, enabling ADGM-based collective investment funds to invest in credit by originating and participating in credit facilities. Alternative financing for private enterprises, within the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) sector, was one of the major focusses of introducing the Private Credit Fund framework.

The IFC has further announced a total of 46 firms have also been granted In-Principle Approval (IPA) during the first half of 2023, resulting in an increase of 119% compared to the same period last year.

Strong first six months

In the first half of 2023, ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) also implemented its sustainable finance regulatory framework, with disclosure requirements and a regulatory framework for funds, discretionary managed portfolios, bonds and sukuks, designed to accelerate the UAE’s transition to Net Zero.

Earlier this year, the $100 billion multilateral development bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) also signed an agreement to establish its first Interim Operational Hub at ADGM, which will become its first overseas office.

ADGM also expanded its geographic area this year, bringing Al Reem Island under its jurisdiction, in addition to the existing Al Maryah Island, leading to H1 2023 numbers seeing a 36% year-on-year growth in operational entities to reach a total of 1,590 entities. During the same period, ADGM Square’s workforce saw a rise of 28%, bringing its total to 12,080 individuals.

Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Member of Abu Dhabi’s Executive Council & Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and ADGM said the outlook “remains strong for 2023, as we continue working with key government stakeholders on the seamless expansion of ADGM’s jurisdiction and catering to the growing demand of businesses to be based in Abu Dhabi.”

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)