Prime Emirates, an Abu Dhabi-based brokerage, suspended trading operations and sought closure, joining at least twelve companies that made similar requests last year after volumes slumped and stocks fell.
“We are in the process of suspending operations and have stopped trading because of poor market conditions and low volumes,” Shawkat Raslan, general manager at Prime Emirates in Abu Dhabi, said in a phone interview today. “We tried to cut costs but were unable to continue.” Prime Emirates had as many as 25 employees in 2010. Numbers have dwindled over the past eight months to eight, he said.
The volume of shares traded in Abu Dhabi plummeted to a daily average of about 70 million last year from 152 million in 2009. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index of 64 stocks has slumped 58 percent since reaching a record in May 2005 to 2,643.62 as of 10:35 am in Abu Dhabi. The index rose 0.7 percent today.
Twelve brokerages in the United Arab Emirates submitted requests to the Securities and Commodities Authority to suspend operations, Ibrahim Obeid Al Zaabi, deputy chief executive for licensing, supervision and enforcement, said August 4.
The regulator couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Prime Emirates is one of eight subsidiaries of Prime Holding, an Egyptian financial services company. The political unrest in the North African country did not affect Prime Emirates’ decision to close, Raslan said today.
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