The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) said its general index and the market value of listed securities in the bourse rose in 2009 on the strength of interest from foreign investors.
ADX general index rose 15 per cent by the end of 2009, lifting the market cap of listed stocks by 16.5 per cent to $80.20 billion (Dh294.3bn), it said yesterday.
Foreign investors were net buyers of shares worth Dh1.22bn in 2009. Investors from the United Kingdom continued to top the list of foreign investors, accounting for about 21 per cent of the total foreign trading at ADX.
Qatari investors ranked the first among GCC countries with a share of 13 per cent, followed by Kuwaitis and Saudis accounting for 11 per cent and eight per cent respectively, according to data released by the ADX.
The contribution of institutional investors in market transactions continued to grow, with the value of shares held by this investor category at Dh66.4bn by the end of 2009, accounting for 26.6 per cent of the total value of shares.
The real estate sector remained the most active during 2009 accounting for more than 50 per cent of the total value of traded shares during the year, followed by the energy and banking sector accounting for 19 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively.
Emirates Telecommunications (etisalat) maintained its position on top of the list at Dh79bn in market value, followed by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank, accounting for Dh26.9bn and Dh22bn respectively.
Two new listings took place during the year with Green Crescent Insurance and Gulf Live Stock, lifting the number of listings to 67 companies. In terms of the exchange's infrastructure, ADX ranked second among Abu Dhabi Government entities in terms of automation of workflow through the application of e-services, as an ambitious project for a new internal network was accomplished for the purpose of establishing a more efficient workflow, while other new services were introduced online, such as submitting investor complaints through the website and the automation of disclosures, in addition to improved online company financial reporting facilities.
"In five years, Abu Dhabi's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) soared by 328 per cent from Dh218bn in 2004 to Dh934bn by the end of 2008, and such impressive growth rate reflects the accelerating economic development of Abu Dhabi," said Tom Healy, CEO of the ADX.
Rashed Al Baloushi, the Exchange's Deputy Chief Executive, said the ADX was poised for future growth boosted by the robust economic growth rates in Abu Dhabi.
"Robust economic growth combined with relatively undervalued equities P/Es will eventually attract more investors who seek to compensate for the losses incurred during the recent international financial crisis."
Keep up with the latest business news from the region with the Emirates Business 24|7 daily newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.