x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Abu Dhabi plans to open market for large share deals

The capital's bourse plans to launch a new screen on its website that would shed light on private trades, an official said.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) plans to launch a "big blocks" market for large share sales in the hope of increasing transparency.

Starting on March 3, the ADX will have a separate watch screen to cover private trades of large numbers of shares. Those trades will not affect the closing price of the stock or be included in the ADX General Index.

"Some trades with large volumes, which may be for strategic reasons, are often pre-arranged deals due to their size and nature," said Rashed al Baloushi, the deputy chief executive of the ADX.

"Trading them through the regular market may not reflect their actual prices and circumstances."

These types of trades have in the past been conducted outside the public markets and only disclosed several days after the transactions were complete.

To qualify as a "big block" trade, the number of shares must not be less than 1 per cent of the company's capital. The initiator of the trade must be one person, while the counter-parties cannot exceed 10 investors, and the price for the shares should not be more than 25 per cent different from the most recent closing price.

Meanwhile, protests in the region took their toll on local markets yesterday.

The ADX General Index declined 1.9 per cent to 2,632.69, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index lost 3.6 per cent to 1,536.45.

Kuwait's bourse lost 2.5 per cent to 6,394.20; Bahrain's measure declined 0.2 per cent to 1,471.54; Oman's index fell 1.1 per cent to 6,895.01; Qatar's bourse lost 1.6 per cent to 8,563.84; and the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index dipped 0.7 per cent to 6,334.90.