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Top ADX official optimistic on MSCI verdict.

Summary: ABU DHABI - The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, or ADX, has welcomed over 145 foreign institutional investors, who have registered with it in the year so far, showing confidence in the Arab world's second biggest bourse by market capitalisation.

ABU DHABI - The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, or ADX, has welcomed over 145 foreign institutional investors, who have registered with it in the year so far, showing confidence in the Arab world's second biggest bourse by market capitalisation.

"We have seen a total of 201 foreign investors, who have opened accounts with us, in the period beginning from January to the last week of June," ADX Deputy Chief Executive Rashid Al Baloushi told reporters in the capital. He said the number of new investors was very encouraging, as its total now exceeds 4,000 in 2011.

"It means that there is an increased interest and appetite to use the exchanges as an alternate investment tool," he said.

Al Baloushi was optimistic that Abu Dhabi would get emerging market status from MSCI.

Asked about the obstacles to this to the ADX, he said the bourse has joined the club of the exchanges that use delivery-versus-payment, or DvP, share settlement system.

About the foreign ownership of shares in the listed companies, which has been an issue that has delayed the MSCI decision, Al Baloushi said ADX has been urging the firms to open up to foreign investors.

He said MSCI has no problem with share turnover, liquidity and share ownership issues.

Al Baloushi said that there has been surge in the markets in recent months, and the ADX Index rose four per cent in June, which "reflects that the market is starting to catch up."

He said that the funds worth $3 trillion are chasing shares, which are part of MSCI, and this would give greater exposure to the UAE shares.

Al Baloushi said he "wanted to see the long term institutional investors investing into Abu Dhabi's listed shares" once they become part of the Index, and "not hedge funds."

He said the long term institutional investors relay heavily on MSCI and FTSI, the two leading share indices.

haseeb@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jun 20, 2011
Words:373
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