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Patience, people, patience

Patience, people, patience

Nasdaq Dubai is looking at new rules that it hopes will encourage individual investors. The new rules aren’t unwelcome, but Kipp’s mum was right: time will be the best healer.

January 18, 2011 5:03 by

Kipp’s a bit of a bad boy, you know. We play by our own rules, like that time we swiped some milk from the office fridge that didn’t belong to us. We left a note and replaced it a bit later, but that’s not the point. We defy authority. We stand up to “the man.”

However, one set of rules we rarely get to challenge are those of Nasdaq Dubai, the international financial exchange in the UAE. It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s just that our assets currently comprise two biros and a packet of peanuts, and we can’t get many shares for that, apparently.

Anyway, if we were the sort of people to take notice of the Nasdaq and its rules, we’d be interested to discover that the bigwigs over there in DIFC have proposed changes to listings rules on the exchange. They want to make it easier for individual investors to invest, basically to attract a bit more money into the markets (the three exchanges in the UAE have been suffering from a serious lack of liquidity for a couple of years now). The rule change suggestions include ensuring that 10 percent of shares offered in an IPO go to individual investors, or that a company has a minimum of 400 institutional or individual security holders.

Jeff Singer, Chief Executive of NASDAQ Dubai, said via the medium of press release: “These proposals would bring new dynamism to our market by ensuring that IPOs have a broad investor base from day one and can be easily bought by individual and other investors after listing. We are also proposing new and more flexible rules aimed at attracting family companies small and medium enterprises. The changes would promote economic activity as well as create new investment opportunities.”

Thanks Jeff. Under the proposals, NASDAQ Dubai’s existing rule that accepts companies with a minimum market capitalisation of $50 million would be retained. In addition, a new rule would allow listings by companies with a market capitalisation as low as $20 million, provided that in such cases the pre-IPO shareholders undertake not to sell their shares within a year of the IPO.

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