Friday, November 10, 2000
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Abu Dhabi to launch official stock market 

Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates is set to launch on November 15 A second hi-tech financial market, the Abu Dhabi Securities Market (ADSM), officials said.

The ADSM opened Wednesday to allow companies to register ahead of the official start date, and although eight licensed brokers were already in place trade was not expected until after November 15.

There are currently just 10 companies who have listed on the bourse, including the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and the Union National Bank.

The ADSM will be linked electronically to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), which was launched in March, and form a single market. President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan issued a decree in February establishing a stock exchange in the United Arab Emirates, the last of the oil-rich Gulf states to open a formal bourse.

The UAE cabinet approved the establishment of the exchange in June 1999 in the wake of a scandal involving the current unofficial market in which 37 authorized traders deal by telephone in Emirati stocks currently valued at around 35 billion dollars.

The scandal, which involved dealing in unsecured bank loans taken out by a heavily indebted firm whose stock was traded on the market, led to a sharp fall on the market and prompted the central bank to call for a properly regulated exchange to end the "chaos".


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