Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 October 2019

ADX looks to lure London-listed companies home

Three Abu Dhabi companies sought listings in London since the 2008 global financial crisis after liquidity dried up at home.
Rashed Al Baloushi, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange chief executive, is due to hold talks with the lord mayor of the City of London to see how they can cooperate further with the London bourse. Delores Johnson / The National
Rashed Al Baloushi, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange chief executive, is due to hold talks with the lord mayor of the City of London to see how they can cooperate further with the London bourse. Delores Johnson / The National

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) wants to lure the capital’s London-listed companies back home.

The ADX has been in talks with local companies to attract them back under dual listings, said Rashed Al Baloushi, the ADX chief executive.

“We talked to them and we see positive feedback,” said Mr Al Baloushi on the sidelines of the ninth GCC regulators summit in Abu Dhabi yesterday. “Most of them are agreeing, most of them are coming.”

Three Abu Dhabi companies sought listings in London since the 2008 global financial crisis after liquidity dried up at home.

They include the healthcare groups NMC Health and Al Noor Hospitals Group, which are traded on the London Stock Exchange. Abu Dhabi Capital Management listed its Qannas Investments fund on the London Alternative Investment Market.

“I am interested and going to do it provided I get board approval,” said B R Shetty, the chief executive at NMC. “I belong to Abu Dhabi, we have a better relationship in Abu Dhabi and I want to add value to Abu Dhabi. I am very confident the board will provide approval.”

Earlier, Reuters reported NMC planned to have a secondary listing in Abu Dhabi by the middle of the year.

But a statement yesterday from the company said there were no plans for a dual listing this year.

Mr Baloushi is due to hold talks with the lord mayor of the City of London today to see how the Abu Dhabi exchange can cooperate further with the LSE and transfer knowledge and expertise.

The development comes after the Dubai property developer Damac offered investors to swap their global depository receipts in London for equity on the Dubai Financial Market and after the ports operator DP World cancelled its London listing and maintained its listing on the Nasdaq Dubai.

Liquidity on the ADX dropped from Dh231.95 billion in 2008 to a low of Dh22.1bn in 2012. But trading activity has gradually recovered since then, increasing to Dh144.4bn last year.

The ADX General Index is up 5.5 per cent so far this year at 4,534.51 points. The index rallied in the first half of 2014, but most of its gains were erased in the second half amid declining oil prices.

There are two companies due to list on the ADX in the first quarter including Massar Solutions, a vehicle rental and fleet management business, Mr Al Baloushi said.

“There are two in the pipeline, it’s just a matter of time,” Mr Baloushi added.

The chief executive of the Securities and Commodities Authority, Abdullah Al Turifi, said the markets regulator was advising five to six companies to delay their initial public offerings because of turbulent markets.

“They saw the market and postponed it because this is not the right time for them,” Mr Al Turifi said on the sidelines of an FNC session on January 7. “We were supposed to have five to six initial public offerings this year. It’s their decision, but we cannot force or stop them. But sometimes we can ask them: ‘is this the right time?’”

Mr Al Turifi yesterday said he was “optimistic” that investors would return to the market after trading volatility prompted by tumbling oil prices.

Brent crude has dropped about 60 per cent since the summer.

Al Noor Hospitals and Qannas Investments were unavailable for comment.

halsayegh@thenational.ae

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Updated: January 26, 2015 04:00 AM

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