Dubai brokerage confirms closure after trading slump

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Al Futtaim HC Securities has shut operations in the UAE amid a slump in stock trading and volumes

Al Futtaim HC Securities has shut operations in the UAE amid a slump in stock trading and volumes

HC Securities & Investment and Al Futtaim Group has confirmed their intention to close down its brokerage Al Futtaim HC Securities in Dubai.

The company had suffered in a "very difficult environment" for the past three years, Hussein Choucri, chairman and managing director said.

Average daily trading in the UAE market slumped to AED226m ($61.5m) in 2011 compared to AED415m in 2010 and AED972m in 2009.

These figures contrasted to the AED2.2bn worth of business done in 2008, Choucri said.

Choucri said the Dubai financial index declined 84 percent from its peak in 2005.

"The declining trading volumes over the last four years, makes it impossible for us to predict when the UAE financial market will recover specially in light of the existing economic conditions in the world and the Middle East," he added in a statement.

Choucri said that HC would continue to maintain its HC Investment Banking operations located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Al Futtaim HC Securities was ranked 14th by value traded in December, according to the Dubai Financial Market’s website.

Some brokerages in the UAE are suspending operations or cutting costs after political unrest in the Middle East and debt restructurings pushed average trading volumes in Dubai to a six-year low.

HSBC Holdings will stop offering brokerage services to retail investors in the UAE and focus on institutional clients, the bank said in October.

The number of “active and functioning” brokerages in the UAE has dropped 42 percent since the end of 2008 to 57, according to the Securities & Commodities Authority website.

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