Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has seen an increase of 25 percent in its overseas investor base and has distributed cash dividends worth 22.5 billion dirhams ($6.1 billion) in the first-half (H1) of 2020, highlighting the growth and robustness of the platform in the face of COVID-19, ADX said in its H1 performance report.
The largest proportion of overseas investors were from the UK, who traded 5.2 billion dirhams of shares in the period, followed by those from the US (4.1 billion dirhams) and then Luxembourg (1.2 billion dirhams.)
Taqa’s absorption of ADPower’s assets on July 1 to create one of the top utility assets company in the region led to a 107 billion dirhams surge in market cap of Abu Dhabi Securities to 607 billion dirhams. TAQA is now one of the largest companies on ADX.
Property developer Wahat Al Zaweya, Agthia, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Methaq Takaful Insurance raised their limits for foreign investors during H1. Currently, foreign investors can invest in 55 companies, or about 80 per cent of listed entities on the ADX, the second-largest in the region, behind Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul.
“The year-on-year decrease was inevitable in view of COVID-19 and was similar to the experience of other exchanges around the world,” the ADX said.
The report showcased significant progress by ADX on its strategic objectives to boost liquidity and attract a broader mix of investors. Its overall performance shows Abu Dhabi is well-positioned to resume its long-term growth trajectory.
ADX chief executive Khaleefa Al Mansouri, said: “Our performance so far this year shows that we are as well placed as any exchange in the world to enable investors to take advantage of improving market conditions, by increasing access, liquidity and the range of products available, an essential component of a healthy and growing economy."
“We expect these to include ETFs (exchange traded funds) and REITs (real estate investment trusts), as well as others, on a sophisticated and innovative digital platform, and with greater levels of transparency," he added.
ADX’s swift response ensured continuity of business for investors by leveraging its integrated digital platform and digital services, the report said.
According to the UAE daily, The National, ADX expects an IPO and the listing of an exchange traded fund in the second half of the year.
“We are in an active dialogue with several companies and the first one [the ETF listing] will come in August. Our target for the year [for Reit listings] was three to five Reits ... on the conservative side, I would assume two [listings],” The National quoted ADX chief executive Khaleefa Al Mansouri as saying.
(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)
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