The Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi stock exchanges have entered cooperation talks that could include double listings on the two stock exchanges following the signing of a landmark normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
The exchanges will also look into initiatives to encourage investors to invest in the two exchanges, develop the technological infrastructure for the financial sector, and work on new products, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange said. It added that talks were at a preliminary stage.
The exchanges are negotiating a memorandum of understanding “in order to create an agreed framework for examining the possibilities of regional cooperation,” said the TASE in an application for approval submitted on Thursday.
Since their decision to normalize relations, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have studied business opportunities and signed new cooperation pacts in sectors ranging from banking to cellphone services. Saudi Arabia has granted overflight rights on routes between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, making travel between the two countries possible in around three hours.
The Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange has 66 listed stocks. Trading volume is mainly focused on large caps in the financial sector such as First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, the UAE’s largest lender. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, which made its own market debut a year ago, has 1,020 stocks, including several technology companies that are listed in the US
The Abu Dhabi and Dubai exchanges have a combined market capitalization of $ 265 billion, compared to $ 168 billion for the Israeli stock exchange, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The TA-35 index rose 1% in Tel Aviv as of 12:03 p.m., while the ADX General Index was little changed.
(Adds the Thursday index levels in the last paragraph.)