Abu Dhabi's TAQA denies London bourse move

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Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has said it is looking at ways to improve the liquidity of its shares but had not taken any steps to remove a barrier to foreigners holding its stock.

Abu Dhabi newspaper The National said on Monday that TAQA was considering a dual listing on the London stock exchange and an opening up of its free-float of shares domestically to foreign investors.

TAQA is 75 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, while foreigners are currently not allowed to trade in the remaining stock listed on the Abu Dhabi stock market.

While the Abu Dhabi bourse has boomed this year, rising 33.9 percent year-to-date, TAQA's stock has declined 4.4 percent in the same period.

"TAQA confirms (it is) exploring opportunities to enhance the liquidity of its shares traded on the Abu Dhabi exchange but has not taken any decisions in this regard," the company said in a statement responding to Reuters questions.

"Currently, foreign ownership of TAQA shares is not possible and we have not applied for any change to that," it added.

A number of Gulf Arab companies have looked to dual or secondary listings on other exchanges since volumes on regional stock markets dried up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Dubai-listed ports operator DP World established a listing in London in June 2011, while Qatar's Doha Bank announced plans in January to list Global Depositary Receipts in the United Kingdom.

The state-owned utility has investments in the energy and power sector in the Middle East, India, Africa, the UK and north America.

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