Abu Dhabi Global Market Launches Consultation on Proposals to Boost Capital Markets Framework

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Abu Dhabi Global Market Launches Consultation on Proposals to Boost Capital Markets Framework

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi’s Global Market has announced it has launched a consultation on proposals to boost its capital markets framework. It ends on 20 May 2022.

The amendments cover virtual assets, spot commodities, securities, derivatives, benchmarks and emissions allowances.

The consultation has been launched as the Market looks to transition to Virtual Assets Framework 2.0. There are proposed amendments on the requirements on the use, sharing and reuse of public keys, risk disclosure requirements and allowing regulated MTF/Custodian groups in the Global Market to carry out non-fungible token activities.

The Market is also proposing to introduce a new and novel regulatory framework regulating spot commodity trading. If approved, they would become the first international financial centre in the Middle East and North Africa region to offer a framework for the regulation of spot commodities and emission allowances. There are also proposed amendments on mining and petroleum listed entities and new regulatory requirements for benchmarking activities.

In addition, the Market is proposing to improve its regulatory framework by enabling offers and listings by petroleum and mining companies and attracting growing companies by offering more flexible capital structures and avenues to raise capital.

Among other things, there is a proposal to include offering new shares to new investors, representing up to 20% of a company’s existing share capital a year, without triggering the pre-emptive, anti-dilution rights of existing shareholders.

There are also proposals to strengthen its requirements in line with International Organisation of Securities Commissions and comparable jurisdictions in respect of continuous disclosure obligations, preference securities and weighted voting rights.

They are aimed at benefiting markets-related activities, including Virtual Assets, Securities, Derivatives, Commodities and Benchmarks.

They are also aimed at reinforcing and securing the Market’s market-leading capital market ecosystem across the Middle East and North Africa region.

They will affect Recognised Investment Exchanges, Recognised Clearing Houses, MTFs, OTFs, Remote Bodies, Remote Members, Offerors, Issuers, Listed Entities, Reporting Entities and Sponsors.

They will enable greater participation in the primary and secondary markets and ensure market participants continue to operate in line with the highest regulatory standards.

If approved, the amendments will affect the Authority’s Financial Services and Markets Regulations, the Market Rules, Market Infrastructure Rules, General Rules, Conduct of Business Rules, Islamic Finance Rules and Fees Rules.

The existing Rules of Market Conduct will also be replaced with a Code of Market Conduct.

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Benjamin Filaferro