ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), the region’s leading financial market, has announced the distribution of more than Dh23.4 billion in cash dividends to around 406,000 investors on behalf of listed companies in 2018.
The cash dividends paid out by listed companies increased around 5.5 per cent compared Dh22.2 billion in the year 2017. This announcement is a confirmation of ADX’s success in providing a distinct investment climate and a stable trading environment for investors and listed companies.
ADX holds a market leading position as a distributor of cash dividends to investors. Stock listed on ADX account for 5.8 per cent of cash dividends paid out globally. This strengthens the Exchange’s position as a preferred listing destination and the high levels of competitiveness.
ADX has also witnessed a rise in the net institutional investments by 4.5 per cent in the first half of 2018, reaching Dh947 million, compared to 908 million for the same period in 2017. Additionally, the number of institutional investors registering in ADX amounted to 271 in the first half of 2018, compared to 256 in the same period of 2017, an approximate increase of 6 per cent. This brings the total number of institutional investors in ADX to more than 7900 with 5900 being foreign institutions and 2000 local institutions.
Chief Executive of ADX, Rashed Al Blooshi emphasised the Exchange’s commitment to applying the best international standards and practices, by ensuring that investors and shareholders in the listed companies receive cash dividends, which reinforces ADX’s position as one of the leading financial markets to provide a stable environment and strong investment opportunities for both foreign investors and nationals.
Al Blooshi said: “These cash dividends accentuate the robust performance of ADX’s listed companies, the safe and attractive investment environment it provides, as well as the stable economic and legislative structure seen in Abu Dhabi and the UAE in general.”
In 2018, ADX distributed Dh23.4 billion in cash dividends to 406,000 eligible shareholders in listed companies with 222,000 of those investors being UAE nationals. The remaining recipients of cash dividends, 184,000, were foreigners. ADX also distributed cash dividend to 4,500 domestic and foreign institutional investors.
Al Blooshi stressed the importance of having listed companies distribute their cash dividends to shareholders, in order to provide liquidity in the markets and to enhance investor confidence in the operational performance of these companies. He said: “The cash dividends of company’s profits confirm the strength of the overall economy and are a key incentive to attract more investors who wish to invest their savings within the legal environment offered by the ADX, which is characterised by fairness in transparency and disclosure.”
Al Blooshi added: “ADX continues to develop its operations, launch strategic initiatives, and provide innovative products and services based on global best practices in disclosure, transparency and corporate governance that contribute to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.”
The banking sector accounted for the highest value of cash dividends paid out, with 52.6 per cent and a total value of Dh12.3 billion; followed by the Telecommunication sector with 30.5 per cent of total dividends paid out and a total value of Dh7.1 billion, and the Energy sector with 4.6 per cent of total dividends paid out and a value of Dh1.1 billion of the total amount of the total dividends paid out. The Real Estate sector trailed with around 4.6 per cent of total dividends paid out and a total value of around Dh1.1 billion, and Industrial sector ranked fifth with 2.2 per cent of total dividends paid out and a total value of around Dh529 million; whereas the Investment & Financial Services sector came in sixth place with 1.7 per cent of total dividends paid out and a total value of Dh393 million. The Services sector followed with almost 1.7 per cent of total dividends paid out and a total value of around Dh393 million. The Insurance sector ranked eighth with almost 1.6 per cent of total dividends paid out and a total value of around Dh368 million, ranking at the ninth place was the Consumer staples sector with 0.5 per cent of total dividends paid out and a total value of Dh114 million.
ADX maintains its efforts in ensuring sustainable development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and is committed to achieving Abu Dhabi’s plan to develop the financial services sector, attract investments and enhance the environment for doing business in the Emirate. ADX deploys the latest and most secure technology in the distribution of cash dividends. These systems are designed to encourage investors to reinvest at least part of their dividend payment back into the market, through increasing investor confidence.
The market capitalisation of listed companies increased by 6.5 per cent to reach Dh485 billion by the end of the first half of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017. The market value of shares owned by UAE investors by the end of the first half of 2018 reached Dh415 billion compared to Dh383 billion in the same period of 2017, an increase of 8.5 per cent. The market value of shares owned by foreign investors reached Dh46 billion by the end of the first half of 2018 compared to Dh43 billion during the same period of 2017, which is an increase of 7.5 per cent.
ADX made it mandatory for all listed companies to deposit the cash dividends to be distributed to shareholders in its bank account within five working days, following the decision of the General Assembly or Board of Directors, and ADX’s conditions and procedures.