The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) will slash commissions by 50 per cent and extend trading hours from September 1 as it seeks to boost liquidity in the market.
Trading fees will be reduced to 0.025 per cent from 0.05 per cent, marking the exchange's second cut in fees this year and the third in three years, ADX said.
The markets will open at 10am but close an hour later at 3pm from October 3 in order to bring ADX in line with global exchanges.
Separately, the Dubai Financial Market also said on Saturday it would extend its trading hours to five from four currently from October 3, in line with a directive from the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).
The change in the Abu Dhabi bourse's trading hours and the lowering of commission rates were in response to investors, issuers and intermediaries and reflected "increased demand to trade Abu Dhabi’s publicly listed companies", said Mohamed Al Hammadi, chairman of ADX.
"The ADX offers unique, high-growth investment opportunities within a strongly-regulated, tax-free and stable business environment and the extension of our opening will serve to attract increased international investment."
The extension of trading hours at the DFM "will provide investors with more flexibility and larger time span to accomplish their investment activities on the market", said the bourse's chief executive Hassan Al Serkal.
The market capitalisation of stocks listed on the ADX rose 39.7 per cent year-on-year to $204 billion in 2020 and stood at $371bn at the end of last week. The index has also gained 51 per cent year to date.
ADX is the second-biggest exchange in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia's Tadawul. The exchange, which is owned by state holding company ADQ, said earlier this year it plans to double its market capitalisation over the next three years through its new ‘ADX One’ strategy that aims to increase market liquidity and improve market efficiency.
The exchange also expects 10 new listings this year, as well as additional services such as derivatives trading. It also expects more listings on its junior Second Market, after four businesses – Sawaeed Holding, Zee Stores, Easy Lease and Palm Sports – joined in 2020.
Global investors accounted for 48.2 per cent of DFM's trading activities while foreign investors accounted for 69 per cent of new investors on the exchange at the end of June this year.