x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The country’s biggest stock-broking firm by traded value said it had leased a booth on the trading floor of the ADX to serve its client base.

The Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange. Sammy Dallal / The National
The Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange. Sammy Dallal / The National

A UAE-based brokerage firm has opened up shop at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, reversing a trend of closures since the global financial crisis as companies sought to cut costs.

Menacorp, the country’s biggest stockbroking firm by traded value, said it had leased a booth on the trading floor of the exchange, to serve its client base.

The booths of the exchange once buzzed with the urgent chatter of brokers as traders launched their buy and sell orders via paper aeroplanes over the heads of rival investors jamming the trading room floor. But over the past five years the number of brokerages in operation halved to just under 50, leaving many of the booths of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) General Index vacated with their lights turned off.

But a reversal in investor appetite and stock prices has brought new life for the exchange.

The ADX rose 63 per cent last year.

Shares listed in Abu Dhabi rose 0.1 per cent yesterday, with the equity benchmark closing at 4,566.04 points, led by energy and property stocks.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed 1.4 per cent higher to 3,669.83, led by Gulf Finance House. The Bahrain-based, Dubai-listed boutique investment house disclosed that it had agreed to sell 75 per cent of its stake in Leeds United to a consortium of British investors. The deal, whose value has yet to be disclosed, is expected to boost financials as a result of the deal, GFH said.

Shares of GFH jumped 9.6 per cent to close at 85 fils each.

halsayegh@thenational.ae