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| 10 June, 2018

UAE regulator examines Abraaj investor impact

United Arab Emirates' top securities regulator is working with the Dubai Financial Services Authority to ascertain whether local investors have been affected by the financial woes of private equity firm Abraaj,

Image used for illustrative purpose.
UAE, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, two photographs of the same scene taken at different time of day and merged together in a single image to show the transition from dusk till dawn.

Image used for illustrative purpose. UAE, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, two photographs of the same scene taken at different time of day and merged together in a single image to show the transition from dusk till dawn.

Getty Images/Shomos uddin

ABU DHABI  - United Arab Emirates' top securities regulator is working with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to ascertain whether local investors have been affected by the financial woes of private equity firm Abraaj, the watchdog said on Sunday.

It was the first public statement by a regulator in the UAE about possible scutiny of Abraaj as concerns grow over the financial state of the firm, whose funds have also attracted money from UAE institutions and family offices. 

"We are coordinating with DFSA to see where national investors are affected," Obaid al Zaabi, chief executive of the UAE's Securities & Commodities Authority, told reporters.

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"Once we get tangible evidence, we can move forward in coordination with local and federal governments."

In an email to Reuters, Abraaj said it is not in a position to comment on discussions that the DFSA may be having with other parties, but the firm continues to engage actively with the Dubai financial regulator.

"The regulator is fully apprised of key developments taking place at the firm," it said.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) said in an email on Monday: "DFSA is aware of various matters involving Abraaj Group, which has a regulated entity in the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre), and relevant matters are under our attention."

DFSA, the financial regulator of Dubai's financial free zone, said it cannot comment further on circumstances of individual firms. It made similar remarks to Saudi Arabia's Arab News in an opinion piece on Abraaj published late last month. Abraaj is grappling with allegations by some investors that it misused their money. The firm has denied any wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho and Saeed Azhar; Editing by Ghaida Ghantous and Adrian Croft) ((Saeed.Azhar@thomsonreuters.com; +971 44536787; Reuters Messaging: saeed.azhar.reuters.com@reuters.net))