Damas Delists From Nasdaq Dubai

Nasdaq Dubai’s future looks bleak as another stock delists ahead of MSCI’s upgrade announcement.

Damas delisted from the Nasdaq Dubai on Wednesday, leaving just two remaining local stocks to trade.

Trading on Damas shares stopped while a list of investors, including Qatar’s Mannai Group, took over the company, according to The National newspaper.

The news comes as international index compiler, MSCI, prepares to announce its decision on whether the UAE stock exchanges should be upgraded to emerging market status. The country is currently classified as a frontier market.

Mohammed Ali Yasin, a capital markets expert and the former chief executive of Shuaa Securities, said: “Nasdaq Dubai is a cost centre right now with hardly any revenue.

“It was a good idea in the boom days. They needed that exchange and they knew that the laws of the land weren’t going to move as fast.”

The UAE has three stock exchanges, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Nasdaq Dubai.

Since the bourse’ inception in 2005, it has struggled to boost the number of listings and liquidity.

Yesterday, 52,329 shares traded with a value of US$531,139 (Dh1.9 million) a fraction of the Dh89.7m traded on the DFM.

“Investors considering to invest in the bourse will think twice because liquidity has become so shallow making exits difficult when they want to liquidate investments,” said Wadah Al Taha, the chief investment officer, at Al Zarooni Group, an investment company in Dubai.

“Now is the right time to move ahead and contact local and regional companies, discuss with the wider investment community, on how to adopt a practical plan to increase listings on this bourse,” Mr Al Taha said.