The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) saw its market liquidity jump five-fold in 2021 amid a boom in initial public offerings (IPOs) and positive performance of listed stocks, whose capitalisation have more than doubled to a record 1.6 trillion dirhams ($436 billion).

In a statement on Monday, ADX said that traded values on the exchange increased from 145 billion dirhams in 2020 to 739 billion dirhams in 2021, driven by higher levels of domestic and international investment.

ADX last year pushed ahead with initiatives to develop and deepen the exchange. It introduced a derivatives market, which paved the way for an agreement with FTSE Russell to develop co-branded indices.

The local bourse also established a framework for listing a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) and agreed to cooperate with bourses in Bahrain Istanbul and Astana.

Local investors accounted for 70 percent of the exchange’s traded value, while foreign institutional investors accounted for 30 percent.

Meanwhile, net foreign investment on the exchange reached 15 billion dirhams in 2021, the highest level recorded in the exchange’s history.

The market value of shares owned by foreign investors in 2021 doubled from 78 billion dirhams to 156 billion dirhams, while those held by UAE nationals reached 1.5 trillion dirhams compared to 685 billion dirhams in 2020.

The number of new investors who registered on the exchange in 2021 jumped to 18,938 in 2021 from 2,362 in 2020.

The number of new institutional investors increased 77 percent to 708 in 2021 compared to 400 in 2020.

The increased demand for Abu Dhabi stocks helped propel the exchange’s benchmark index 64 percent higher, making the measure one of the world’s best-performing equity gauges in 2021.

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Cleofe Maceda)

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