DUBAI, (Reuters) – UAE domestic bourses will launch a new settlement system on April 28, the country’s regulator said on Monday, a key step that will bolster the country’s chances of earning MSCI emerging market status.
Dubai Financial Market DFM.DU .DFMGI and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange .ADI will adopt a Deliver Versus Payment system — the global standard — the Securities and Commodities Authority said.
After snubbing the UAE for a second time in 2010, index compiler MSCI warned domestic bourses must change from dual account structures such as separate custody and trading accounts.
MSCI will announce in June whether it will upgrade the UAE and Qatar from the ‘frontier markets’ category, a move that could open up the countries’ bourses to multibillion dollar liquidity and drive index fund investments.
“DVP would help minimise the risks emanating from the delivery and receipt of securities as both the ownership transfer and payment of securities cost will be done simultaneously,” SCA said in an emailed statement on Monday.
Many traders are pessimistic over whether MSCI will upgrade the UAE, with low volumes and regional political unrest cited as likely deterrents, but the latter will not be a factor, said Jeff Singer, chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai, which has the same owner as DFM and uses the same trading platform.
“I don’t think (political) events will have an impact,” said Singer. “MSCI looks more at the capital market structure than the politics.”
Nasdaq Dubai is on track to introduce new listing rules in the second quarter, Singer added.
These will oblige future listings to have a broader investor base and will lower the bar on the size of company it will allow to list.