Dubai explores collaborations with stock exchanges including those in Hong Kong and Asia, with eye on future dual listings

As of September 30, DFM hosted 11 companies on its platform through equity dual listings.


China-built clean coal-fired power plant in Dubai completed

China-built clean coal-fired power plant in Dubai completed

Ali said Dubai has established strong relationships with some important Chinese institutions, facilitating the listing of 21 bonds from Chinese issuers on its platform.

“The Dubai team has done a fantastic job of building that relationship,” said Ali.

Dubai’s strategic positioning and performance enable it to serve as a vital hub for accessing liquidity and supporting the growth of Asia-Pacific companies, according to analysts.
DFM saw a 109 per cent increase in net profit to 186.2 million dirhams (US$50.7 million) in the first nine months of 2023. With a notable increase in the number of trades, the overall trade value and an influx of new investors, DFM’s robust performance reinforces Dubai’s status as a pivotal hub in the global financial landscape, according to the results announcement.
Ali anticipates a positive outlook for the IPO market, following this year’s listing of Al Ansari Financial Services, the first family business to go public in the UAE, and the new listings that the market attracted in 2022. Technology is a key sector that will drive regional growth in the coming years, he said.

The management consulting firm PwC believes further privatisation will be seen in Dubai as the government strives to list a number of entities in the future.

The slowdown in the global initial public offering (IPO) markets, notably in the US and Europe, has not hit the Gulf region, according to a PwC report released in August.

IPO activity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, continued into the second quarter of 2023 with 13 flotations raising US$1.8 billion. This was supported by relatively active pipelines in both the public and private sectors and increased investor awareness of the region’s potential, the report said.

Ali said companies listed in Dubai can “scale up in the region at a fast pace” as there is “an unparalleled infrastructure that allows businesses to expand well beyond Dubai”. He cited Africa and the Middle East as potential growth areas.

In the Middle East, Ali advocates cooperation among exchanges rather than competition because the region is large enough to accommodate multiple exchanges.

For instance, Saudi Arabia has been expanding its stock exchange, Tadawul, as part of the kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan – the government’s long term goal of weaning the kingdom off its reliance on oil exports to focus on economic diversification, global engagement, and enhanced quality of life.

As part of this, Saudi Arabia focuses on collaborations with stock exchanges in other jurisdictions. In September, The Saudi Tadawul Group announced the signing of an agreement with the Shanghai Stock Exchange to promote mutual development and cooperation.

Dubai has its Dubai Economic Agenda “D33”, which aims to double the size of its economy by 2033 and make it one of the top three cities for living, investing and working.

Additionally, Dubai is one of the first jurisdictions globally to have set up a regulator to oversee the provision, use and exchange of virtual assets, according to Ali.

“As the technology and finance sectors are evolving, the best thing for us to do is to make sure that we have the right regulatory framework to make sure that we’re balancing the benefits of the new technology and the benefits of the sector as well as ensuring the transparency of its operations,” he said.

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