|19 November, 2019

ADIB seeks to increase foreign ownership limit

In a bourse filing, ADIB proposed the increase of non-UAE nationals ownership of the Shari’ah compliant lender shares maximum limit to 40%

Investors speak as they monitor stocks at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Image for illustrative purposes only.

Investors speak as they monitor stocks at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Image for illustrative purposes only.

REUTERS/Stringer

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s (ADIB) Board of Directors plans to open up to more foreign shareholders as the UAE eases rules to attract foreign direct investment.

In a bourse filing, ADIB proposed the increase of non-UAE nationals ownership of the Shari’ah compliant lender shares maximum limit to 40 per cent as well as to amend Clause No. 7of ADIB Articles of Association after obtaining necessary approvals.

In September 2019, Emirates NBD announced that it intends to seek approvals from shareholders and regulators to boost its foreign ownership limit to 40 per cent—currently, foreigners hold five per cent of Emirates NBD shares and the Dubai Government owns a 55.76 per cent stake.

The Dubai-based lender received all necessary regulatory and internal approvals to increase foreign ownership limit from five per cent to 20 per cent.

Additionally, Abu Dhabi-based First Abu Dhabi Bank plans to follow its peers and raise the foreign-ownership limit in its stock. Foreign investors hold around 12 per cent of the bank’s shares as of January 2019.

Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority also removed a cap on ownership of publicly traded companies for foreign strategic investors in June 2019, paving the way for international investors to take controlling stakes in sectors from banking to petrochemicals.

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