The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange has rebranded its secondary market, which connects investors with smaller privately-owned businesses, as the 'Growth Market' to encourage more listings on the emirate’s bourse.
The move to replace the Second Market, established in 2014, complements Abu Dhabi’s fast-developing ecosystem for companies that are looking to catalyse their growth, ADX said in a statement on Thursday.
The Growth Market offers companies access to a wide investor base as they begin their capital markets journey. Companies can directly list shares on the exchange without the need for an initial public offering.
The strong ecosystem allows companies a range of associated benefits such as access to capital and funding, enhanced governance and increased liquidity for shareholders, the statement said.
“The Growth Market is an integral part of the ecosystem that Abu Dhabi is building to nurture business, from start-ups through to maturity,” Hisham Malak, chairman of the ADX, said.
“The Growth Market will provide confidence to owners of companies and investors that there is a clear and straight-forward pathway for companies to begin their capital markets journey in Abu Dhabi.”
The rebranding is a better representation of the type of companies that are currently listed, or are looking to list, on the market as part of ADX’s efforts to bring more start-ups, family businesses and early-growth companies to capital markets, the bourse said.
The Growth Market, which offers tailored listing and disclosure requirements, is open to businesses from all segments of the economy including sports, transportation, wholesale trading and healthcare sectors.
With a market capitalisation of Dh62 billion ($17bn), the Growth Market delivered robust performance last year. The value of shares traded in 2021 exceeded Dh16bn, while the total number of companies listed on the market increased to 13, ADX said.
The relaunch of the Growth Market is part of the “ADX One” strategy to enhance liquidity and boost its market capitalisation. Announced at the beginning of 2021, the strategy comprises 22 projects to encourage build listings pipeline, enhance corporate governance and introduce new products and services that meet the requirements of issuers and global investors.
The market capitalisation of the Abu Dhabi Securities Market General Index has more than doubled since 2021 to Dh1.8 trillion, supported by a series of listings and increased foreign investment flows. The benchmark Abu Dhabi General Index gained 64 per cent in 2021, making it one of the best performing equity indexes in the world.
“As we continue to execute on our ADX One strategy we endeavour to both revaluate our existing offering and introduce new products and services which enhance connectivity between investors and companies looking for differentiated opportunities for growth,” Saeed Al Dhaheri, managing director and chief executive of the ADX, said.
“The Growth Market encapsulates our continued ability to meet both issuer and investor needs, while also adding scale to our offering and growing exchange.”