FSRA amends capital market framework to boost growth and investments

The ADGM regulator has implemented significant amendments in rules across spot commodities, securities, derivatives, benchmarks, environmental instruments and virtual assets

Abu Dhabi Global Market is one of the fastest-growing financial centres in the Mena region. Photo: Aldar
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The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market has amended its capital market framework, implementing significant enhancements that will improve the investment environment and boost growth opportunities in the emirate's financial hub.

“The degree of interest shown in the consultation, as well as the keen interest by participants looking to undertake activities in these significant new areas, is hugely positive,” Ahmed Al Zaabi, chairman of ADGM, said.

“These enhancements to our capital markets framework will unlock the next stage of investment and growth opportunities, across commodities, environmental instruments, virtual assets activities and wider financial markets.”

ADGM, one of the fastest growing international financial centres in the Middle East and North Africa region, is part of Abu Dhabi's efforts to diversify its economy and connect the emirate with markets in the Mena and economies in South and East Asia.

The financial free zone is home to thousands of companies including global businesses, financial institutions, treasury centres, professional services companies, small and medium enterprises, start-ups and FinTechs, including digital asset trading entities.

The regulator has consistently been amending its capital markets framework to mitigate risks and make ADGM an attractive space for home-grown, regional and international companies.

Collectively, ADGM and its market participants continue to provide regulatory and industry leadership, “positioning ADGM and Abu Dhabi as the jurisdiction of choice”, Mr Al Zaabi said.

These latest changes enable greater participation within primary and secondary markets.

They are intended to significantly benefit markets-related activities, impacting recognised investment exchanges, recognised clearing houses, multilateral trading facilities, organised trading facilities, market intermediaries, remote bodies, remote members, issuers, listed entities, reporting entities and sponsors, the FSRA said on Tuesday.

ADGM has also changed its regulatory framework for spot commodity and environmental instrument activities, the first international financial centre in the Mena region to do so.

“Another region-first inclusion in this framework highlights purpose-built offerings and listing rules relating to mining and petroleum companies,” the FSRA said.

The regulator has also strengthened its requirements for capital raising, disclosure obligations, securities and voting rights, it added.

In addition to the changes implemented across conventional financial services activities, MTFs and custodians in ADGM can now seek approval from the FSRA to engage in non-fungible token activities.

“These important and major enhancements to our capital markets regulatory framework are a vital part of the FSRA’s objective to continue developing ADGM’s overall comprehensive and progressive regulatory framework,” Emmanuel Givanakis, chief executive of the FSRA, said.

“It will help to support and bolster the growth of our vibrant ecosystem that will, in turn, contribute to the growth and diversification of Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the MENA region’s economy as a whole.”

Updated: September 27, 2022, 1:24 PM
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