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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 16/12/2013

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE stock markets are projected to attract Dh1 billion worth in long-term investments, after the MCSI upgrade, according to a report.

Rashid Al Baloushi, chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, said that a foreign bank has made this assessment. "I personally agree with it," he told Khaleej Timesi.

He expected the investment inflows to rise as the MCSI upgrade has added value to the stocks; the economy has bounced back and infrastructure spending has risen tremendously in the recent quarters of the year, which means the companies would perform even better. He said that the corporate performance had already improved in 2012, when cash dividends grew to Dh17 billion.

"In the quarter three of the year, the total earnings grew five per cent year-on-year," which he said was a healthy sign and that the payouts would be stronger than the last year. In the year-to-date period foreign investment excluding from the Middle East was Dh1.3 billion.

He said that upon the recommendation of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the Stocks and Commodities Authority is working on a new regulation which will allow the listing and trading in the shares of the private joint stock companies. "A regulation can come anytime," Al Baloushi said.

There are around six private joint stock companies, but their shares are not quoted on the stock exchange. These companies include Manazil Real Estate, Al Qudra, Injaz Mena and others.

He said that the economic activity and MCSI has increased the interest of foreign investors in the shares listed on the UAE exchanges. In this year, 510 new institutional investors were registered at ADX, as interest grows internationally, especially after the modern trading infrastructure was built in the bourse.

The Abu Dhabi government has announced listing of its bonds and sukuks on the ADX, recently. Al Baloushi welcomed the step, which would add greater depth to the market's product range.

On the issue of issuance new fresh capital, he expected few IPOs hitting the market in 2014.

In the next year, ADX will launch road shows in London, New York and other European financial capitals, he said.


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