x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

2000: Providing the opportunity to invest

40 years of the UAE: In 2000, financial trading in the Emirates was changed dramatically with the establishment of the Securities and Commodities Authority, the ADX and the DFM.

2000: Providing the opportunity to invest

For many years, investors traded shares of companies through the over-the-counter (unofficial) market, where "bid" and "ask" prices varied, depending on which broker one dealt with in the absence of a local stock exchange.

That all changed after a decree was issued on January 29, 2000, to introduce a regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), which would oversee a budding financial services industry.

The SCA's role was "to provide the opportunity to invest savings and funds in securities and commodities in a manner that serves the interest of the national economy, secures the integrity and accuracy of transactions, ensures interaction of the forces of supply and demand in order to determine prices and protection of investors by establishing the base for sound and just dealings between the various investors", the decree read.

In the same year, the watchdog issued licences for the creation of two exchanges, Dubai Financial Market (DFM), and Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX).

The exchanges hosted the initial public offerings and listings of 33 public joint stock companies such as the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Emirates Bank.

A legal infrastructure for the markets was introduced through a series of regulations related to brokers, the listing of securities and commodities, disclosure and transparency.

* Hadeel Al Sayegh