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Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) Admits SICO as First Non-UAE-Based Registered Market Maker
Aug 15, 2018
In line with its strategy to enhance the UAE’s investment structure and support its sustainable economic growth, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), the region’s leading financial market, has awarded SICO with the first non-UAE license to serve as Market Maker, making it the fifth registered Market Maker on the Exchange. The announcement came at a bell-ringing ceremony on ADX’s trading floor, which was attended by members of ADX and SICO executive management.

SICO BSC (c) is a leading regional asset manager; broker, market maker and investment bank based in Bahrain, and has been the leading market maker on the Bahrain Bourse since 1995, making it a pioneer and key player in the GCC financial markets. As market maker, liquidity provider, and major participant in UAE markets through its Abu-Dhabi based subsidiary ‘SICO Financial Brokerage LLC’, SICO will help narrow the spread between bids and offers as well as encourage further trading.

This step is a reflection of ADX’s success in increasing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the Exchange through diversifying its products. Speaking at the bell- ringing ceremony, Chief Executive of ADX, Rashed Al Blooshi said: “Awarding a new Market Maker license represents yet another milestone in ADX history, pointing to our willingness to expand our investor base, and continually improve market liquidity. Increasing the number of Market Makers on the Exchange is a key part of our long-term strategy of promoting Abu Dhabi to a wider range of international and domestic investors who can benefit from its competitive yet friendly business environment.”

The step also comes in-line with ADX’s commitment to continually develop and launch strategic initiatives that contribute to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. The Vision plays a vital role in the development of ADX’s core strategy by placing the financial market in the wider context of economic and social development designed to transform the Emirate into one of the leading financial service centres in the region.

ADX has registered SICO in line with guidelines issued by the country’s main financial regulatory body, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), which stipulates that the ownership of a liquidity provider cannot exceed 5% of the listed company’s shares, and that issuers have the right to assign multiple liquidity providers.

Commenting on the accreditation, SICO CEO Ms. Najla Al Shirawi, noted: “We thank ADX for its confidence in us and are delighted to be the first non-UAE-based company to receive this license, which reinforces SICO’s position as a leading financial solutions provider in the region. We look forward to assisting listed companies in improving valuations and attracting fresh capital, which will further enhance the confidence of regional and international investors”.

She added: “Over the past two decades, SICO has stayed ahead of the curve by offering sophisticated financial solutions and continually updating its offerings. As the first approved market maker on the Bahrain Bourse, SICO has made a significant impression on market liquidity and boosted the bourse’s average daily traded value. The Bahrain Liquidity Fund, which was co-seeded by SICO in June 2016, has contributed to the increase of the bourse’s turnover since its inception by 150%”.

SICO launched and co-seeded the BHD 41 million (AED 403.3 million) Bahrain Liquidity Fund with the aim of enhancing and deepening the Kingdom’s stock market. Since its launch, the Fund has made a sizable impact on daily traded value and turnover on the Bahrain Bourse, more than doubling the its average daily traded value in just one year from BHD 260,000 (AED 2.56 million) per day in 2017 to BHD 572,000 (AED 5.6 million).

SICO is currently the Market Maker on Bahrain Bourse for Aluminium Bahrain, Eskan Bank REIT, GFH Financial Group and Bank ABC, which are among the most highly traded entities listed on the exchange.

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