Brokers are calling on the UAE stock exchanges to reduce market trading fees that are 15 times higher than Saudi Arabia amid depressed market conditions and lower volumes.
"The commission fees have been the top priority on the agenda in meetings with the regulator and the bourses," said Abdel Hadi Al Sadi, the chief operating officer at Al Ramz Securities in Abu Dhabi. "Brokerages have even expressed flexibility in reducing their own fees because at times it can take weeks for clients to just cover the cost of the market commission when there is no liquidity."
The country's two main exchanges, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Dubai Financial Market, take a standard fee of 15 basis points per trade, while brokerages are supposed to take a flat commission of 15 basis points too but due to competition for business frequently charge much less.
The largest, most diversified and liquid exchange in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia, which trades at close to $1 billion a day, charges a market fee of just 1 basis point. Its brokers are able to charge a flat rate of 10, bringing the total maximum fee of 11.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index on Monday declined 0.5 per cent to 2331.14 points at 12pm, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index lost 0.4 per cent to 1307.98 points.