As part of its efforts that are geared toward achieving one of its main strategic objectives, and in support of Abu Dhabi Government’s Economic Vision 2030 that aim to attract foreign investment, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange has concluded its annual promotion campaign for the current year of 2016.
The Campaign was held for two days (Wednesday, March 9th to Thursday, March 10th) in the city of New York in the United States.
The Campaign, which is considered the Fourth in a row, was led by a group of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange’s top listed companies.
The delegation consisted of Rashid Al Baloushi, the CEO of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, representatives of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED), Abu Dhabi Investment Company (ADIC) and HSBC Bank, in addition to representatives of 9 companies that are listed in Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, these are: National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Aldar Properties PJSC, Waha Capital P.J.S.C., First Gulf Bank and Agthia Group, in addition to RAK Properties, RAK Ceramics, Manazel Real Estate and a number of experts and specialists.
The main goal of this event was to shed light on the successes that the economic performance of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is achieving and the huge role that such performance plays in the market with respect to stimulating the attraction of capitals which always seek to seize opportunities, particularly investment ones that the Exchange offers; such investment opportunities are very good taking into consideration the good financial performance of the companies listed in the Exchange. Also, the event aimed to introduce the public joint stock companies that are listed in the Exchange in order to open new communication channels with new investors, financial directors, assets managers, and investment portfolio management companies. Another aim was to discuss the possibilities of mutual cooperation and explain to the investors and foreign companies in the United States the level of development that Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange has reached.
Rashid Al Baloushi delivered an introductory presentation about Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in which he discussed the financial and economic conditions of the UAE and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi: "Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange is considered a pioneer among the international exchanges and markets and possesses a collection of features that help it attract American investors. It also has a very motivating and stimulating environment that increases the attraction of foreign investments and features diverse economy and an encouraging performance that is receiving great attention from foreign investors in general, and American ones in particular. The interest of the world’s companies and institutions in Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange proves the Exchange’s pioneering status and makes it a hub for such kind of activity thanks to its reliance on the atmosphere of economic freedom that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi provides, as well as the high rates of economic growth in the Emirate and the huge investment opportunities that the Exchange provides to attract more foreign investments".
In this context, Rashid Al Baloushi explained in details that the national economy of the United Arab Emirates has maintained its stability over the last years despite the instability and fluctuation that dominate the majority of the world’s economies experience today. And mentioned Standard & Poor's Financial Services, which specializes in credit rating, expects that the Emirati economy would maintain its strong growth in 2016 despite all these challenges. This reflects the strength and durability that this economy enjoys and its ability to continue growing by relying on its own capabilities."
Moreover, Al Baloushi explained that the UAE has occupied an advanced position on the global level and was able to surpass many of the world’s leading economies last year. The UAE was ranked 17th in the Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum. Also, the UAE’s financial markets were ranked 20th among a total of 148 markets that were listed in the Financial Markets Development Index. The Global Competitiveness Report described the UAE’s markets as being "advanced and deep".
He also mentioned that: "The Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s economy was not very far from the general growth that the State’s economy witnessed, especially in light of the announcement by the Statistics Center in Abu Dhabi which stated that based on current prices Abu Dhabi’s Gross Domestic Product has reached 960 billion dirhams in 2014 compared to 931 billion dirhams in 2013 based on current prices. This shows that it has multiplied 5 times since the beginning of the last decade when it was only 177.8 billion dirhams in 2001. Al Baloushi emphasized that the government of Abu Dhabi will be committed to invest nearly 100 billion dollars in the major infrastructure projects by 2017."
And as he described further, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has been ranked 26 out of 83 financial centers on the Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI) issued in 2015, meaning it surpassed both Beijing and Vienna which were ranked 29th and 30th, respectively.
Furthermore, Al Baloushi discussed the role of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in the national economy and mentioned that enabling the financial markets to become the main financier of economic projects and sectors is considered one of the seven areas of interest of Abu Dhabi’s economic policy. Additionally, the increasing financing of economic sectors and projects is also one of the main goals of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030. This requires the activation of a number of non-conventional financing tools, especially in light of the projects’ increasing need for more flexible financing resources that respond to the requirements of their growth and expansion.
Moreover, Al Baloushi pointed out that the value of shares traded in Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in 2014 represented 15.2% of the Gross Domestic Product of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for the same year according to the data issued by the Emirate’s Statistics Center. The Center also estimated that the shares’ market value in Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange represents 43.9% of Abu Dhabi’s Gross Domestic Product based on current prices in 2014.
"The investments that flowed into the market were mostly foreign, which proves that the financial and economic conditions in the State are in good status. This also reflects the positive view and optimism regarding the performance of the Emirate’s economy and its various sectors, and also reflects the wise policies that the government follows in running the economy over the last years which meant the national economy was safe from any risks or fluctuations." Al Baloushi said.
He also explained that Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange’s performance was the best of all other exchanges in the Gulf Cooperation countries in 2015 based on the Arab Monetary Fund’s report. The Exchange’s index reported a decrease by 4.9% during the year, whereas the foreigners’ transactions share in the Exchange where the biggest compared to other Arab exchanges. This showed that the performance of the listed companies was positive and their market value exceeded 447 billion dirhams in late 2015.
He attributed all these achievements to the fact that Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange enjoys many features that work on attracting foreign investors. The Exchange was able to take huge and significant steps toward reinforcing its investment environment, and the promotion of the United Arab Emirates to the "Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Index, and Standard and Poor’s Dow Jones in 2014 has led to the creation of an atmosphere that attracts local, regional and global investments.
He added that the Exchange has approved a strategy that is based on several key topics, most importantly are the reinforcement of the environment that regulates the Exchange’s transactions and develop it according to the best international practices, in addition to supporting the public joint stock companies in their continuous quest to achieve the highest levels of performance that aim to enhance the principles of disclosure and transparency.
Moreover, he emphasized the Exchange’s constant quest to support its relationships with the concerned parties and work on transforming them from monitoring relationships into real partnerships that are based on the sense of responsibility from all parties in order to develop the work performance mechanisms in the Exchange.
He also highlighted that the vision of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange’s management focuses on considering the investor as the center of the investment process, whether the investor is an individual or an institution. The Exchange’s management works hard to provide a fair investment environment for all investors through adopting the principles of disclosure and transparency regarding the financial results of the companies and the fair access to information.
Al Baloushi concluded his presentation by declaring that Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange has won the Most Innovative Exchange in the GCC Award in 2015 which is granted annually by Capital Finance International in appreciation of the Exchange’s major achievements over the last years with respect to innovation. Innovation is a high priority in Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange’s work strategy.