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Abu Dhabi to launch short-selling in Q1

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange plans to launch short-selling early in 2017, in a bid to attract foreign investors.

The move would help upgrade the stock market and diversify investment instruments to increase the level of liquidity to match global markets, CEO Abdullah Al-Blooshi said in a press release dated Dec. 26.

The stock exchange said the price of a stock sold must be higher than the last deal price. In case the price falls 5% during the same trading session, the automatic short-selling mechanism will be ceased for the day and the following trading day.

Meanwhile, brokers' clients will have to offer guarantees when selling short, Abdullah al-Nuaimi, head of market operations and surveillance department, said.

Al-Blooshi told Reuters that the exchange plans to introduce the short-selling service in the first quarter of 2017 and that the move follows United Arab Emirates' market regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority, approving short-selling rules.

There have been concerns in the Gulf until now that the practice could destabilize markets, but Abu Dhabi joins countries including Saudi Arabia and Qatar that intend to introduce short-selling, according to the Dec. 26 Reuters report.