(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, better known as etisalat, will soon allow foreigners to own its shares, its top official said.
The telecom operator's shares rose sharply following a news report appeared in section of Press on Sunday. Its shares gained 1.4 per cent to Dh9.33. The company is listed at Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange and the government holds its 60 per cent shares.
"Etisalat will allow foreigners to own its shares soon," Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, etisalat's chief executive told an Arabic newspaper.
"Emirates Investment Council is currently working on amending the law to allow foreign ownership of its shares," he added. However, he did not say what amount of shares could be allowed to be owned by the foreigners.
Out of 69 firms quoted on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, there are still 16 companies mostly state-owned banks and financial institutions that still have preferred not to offer their shares to foreign investors.
National Bank of Ummal Quwain, National Bank of Fujairah, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank are prominent financial institutions along with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, or Taqa, which have yet to allow foreign ownership of their shares, according to ADX website.
Others include Abu Dhabi Aviation, Fujairah National Insurance, Al Ain Al Ahlia Insurance, Al Wathba Insurance, Al Dhafra Insurance, Emirates Driving, Fujairah Building Industries and Foodco Holding.
Majority of the firms who have allowed foreign investment into their shares have put a maximum ownership ceiling of 25 per cent share, while minimum limit is 20. However, foreign investors are allowed to own 49 per cent shares of six companies including ADCB, Dana Gas, Eshraq Properties, Fujairah Trade Centre and Gulf Pharmaceuticals.