UAE tries again with single-stock futures

Nasdaq buildingNasdaq Dubai is allowing investors to trade single-stock futures contracts on seven UAE-listed companies in a revival of an initiative first attempted in 2008.

The new futures roster is “the most significant asset class expansion to reach the Middle East for many years”, said Abdul Rahman Al Hareb, chairman of Shuaa Capital, which is providing market-making services.

In 2008, the exchange listed single-stock futures on 21 stocks and on an index of UAE shares, however the initiative was overshadowed by the financial crisis and a retreat of capital from regional exchanges.

The then-chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai, Jeff Singer, said at the time that futures had “great potential to develop into a substantial market”.

The new single-stock futures are available on Aldar Properties, Arabtec Holding, DP World, Dubai Islamic Bank, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Emaar Properties and Etisalat. The stocks are listed on the Nasdaq Dubai exchange, Dubai Financial Market or Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

“Single stock futures are already a standard tool for numerous investors,” said Hosam El Gendy, head of brokerage UAE for investment firm EFG Hermes. “Their launch on Nasdaq Dubai is a very welcome addition to the MENA region’s investment menu.”

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