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Etisalat jubilant after shares open to foreigners

Abu Dhabi stock market rose as telecommunications firm announced plans to allow foreign and institutional investors to own its shares

Stock markets in the Gulf region fell at the early trade on Sunday (September 6) in response to the slight global sell-off triggered by a two per cent drop in oil futures on Friday.

Meanwhile, shares in the UAE government-run telecommunications firm Etisalat have surged as the firm announced that it is opening up its shares to foreign and institutional investors from September 15. The telecom company’s shares soared 5.9 per cent.

With major companies seeing a downward trend, the Dubai Financial Market Index fell 1.2 per cent. Qatar’s stock exchange lost 0.8 per cent, Oman’s index slid 0.1 per cent and Kuwait’s index lost 0.3 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s bourse was up 0.6 per cent after Etisalat’s annoucement. In a statement to the stock exchange, the company said that the long-awaited move came after its board of directors approved the new rules governing ownership.

Meanwhile, in Dubai’s stock market, shares in Bahrain-based investment firm GFH fell 1.5 per cent after its board of directors approved the voluntary delisting of GFH shares from the Kuwait Stock Exchange, which plunged 5.4 per cent.