Dubai’s Sheikh Ahmed says agreement in principle on UAE bourse merger

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and Dubai Financial Market would merge under a long-discussed plan

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A top Dubai economic policymaker said on Monday that an agreement to merge the two main stock markets in the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, had been reached in principle but nothing had been finalized.

“It is going to be very positive. The agreement has been reached between the two - there is a dialogue but it is not yet finalized,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, head of Dubai’s supreme fiscal council, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi.

Sources told Reuters last year that advisors had been appointed to help facilitate a merger of the exchanges, but the idea has been discussed sporadically for years without a deal.

Sheikh Ahmed, who is the uncle of the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, also said Dubai was watching markets for a potential sovereign bond issue.

“When the market is good we should go to the market,” he said, adding when asked about current market conditions: “It is good now, there is a lot of liquidity in the market both in the UAE and internationally.”

However, he wouldn’t be drawn on whether Dubai planned to issue any time soon: “We always think of it,” he said.

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