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Wed 9 Jul 2008 12:56 PM

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Abu Dhabi bourse trebles trading performance

Stable and sustainable market helps ADX to achieve huge growth in trading.

The value of securities traded in the first half of 2008 on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) trebled compared to the first half of 2007, it was announced on Wednesday.

Discussing the first half performance figures, Tom Healy, ADX chief executive, explained that the value of securities traded on ADX from Jan. 1 to June 30 was 163 billion dirhams ($44 billion).

This compares to 51 billion dirhams ($14 billion) in the same period last year. Accordingly, the number of shares traded and the number of trades also increased dramatically, by 93 per cent and 60 per cent respectively.

The most actively traded stock was Dana Gas, followed by Arkan, Aabar and RAK Properties.

“There are a number of reasons why ADX has witnessed such a huge increase in the amount of trading this year, the most of important of which is that we are seen as a stable and sustainable market, which gives investors confidence,” Healy said in a statement.

“Furthermore, our index is up by 9 percent in the first half of this year, there are more listed companies and, alongside the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), we offer investors a transparent and well regulated market.

"That 24 out of 30 possible SCA awards for compliance went to ADX listed companies speaks volumes about the quality of our market.”

Healy added that the exchange was actively encouraging foreign investors into the market as well as UAE nationals.

After UAE nationals, UK investors were the most active in trading on ADX. UK investors now own 18.2 billion dirhams ($5 billion) worth of shares which is an increase of 15 billion dirhams ($4.1 billion) in the first six months of 2007.

“As the Abu Dhabi government continues to drive economic diversification and under its leadership, the economy goes from strength to strength, we see the outlook for ADX as very positive,” Healy continued.

“In the near future, our priorities will be to develop the debt market, list Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) on ADX, and develop a derivatives market.”

ADX serves the domestic cash equity market and has 65 listed companies with a market capitalisation of 492 billion dirhams ($134 billion).