'Many advantages' to UAE bourse merger - regulator

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A potential merger between the two main stock exchanges of Dubai and Abu Dhabi would have "many advantages" for the country's financial sector, the chief executive of the UAE's equities market regulator has said.

"In case the two markets are merged into one it will have many advantages, although the SCA has not seen any negative aspects in the current situation of having two markets," Abdulla al-Turifi, CEO of the Securities and Commodities Authority, said in an emailed statement.

The UAE has revived a proposal to merge its two main bourses in a state-backed deal that could boost trading and attract more foreign investment to the Gulf state, sources familiar with the plan told Reuters earlier this week.

Without commenting on whether a merger was likely, al-Turifi said: "There are technical, administrative and logistics preparations to be made first before the merger is completed and we are ready for whatever decision that would be made in this regard. We hope this will be made very soon."

Talks on a potential merger between the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) have occurred on and off since at least 2010.

DFM is 80 percent owned by Borse Dubai, a holding company which also has a 33 percent stake in the Nasdaq Dubai bourse, as well as nearly 21 percent of the London Stock Exchange, according to its website. ADX is owned by the Abu Dhabi government.

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