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05 December 2023

UAE favours bourses merger, says Mansouri

A possible merger of the UAE bourses might energise financial markets in the emirates. (File)

By Reuters

The UAE government would favour a merger of the main Abu Dhabi and Dubai bourses, but the decision is up to the exchanges themselves, economy minister Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri said on Wednesday.

He was speaking at a session of the Federal National Council, an advisory body to the government, where some members asked the government to work to facilitate a merger and to introduce a timeline for it to take place.

A possible merger of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange with the Dubai Financial Market has been discussed on and off for years, and at one stage investment banks were hired to advise on a tie-up.

But sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last year the idea had been shelved for the foreseeable future.

"If at this stage, we as a regulator - if there is a proposition to merge the two markets, we are with it," Mansouri said. "And, if not, we understand."

He also said, "We hope there is one market because as a regulator it would be easier to supervise."

A merger might energise financial markets in the UAE, making it easier for investors to operate across the markets, stimulating trade and attracting more foreign investment.