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What’s going on at DIFC?

What’s going on at DIFC?

Busy times at the iconic DIFC building, where revenue figures and rumours of an Abu Dhabi invasion have been whipping up interest. Kipp supposes this is all good news.

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December 20, 2010 3:38 by



The DIFC’s plight is important to all of us, even if we’re not connected to the centre. Emirates 24-7 highlights the results of another study in which McKinsey found that for every dollar of revenue generated by the DIFC, the wider UAE economy benefitted by around $17 in the form of rent, schools, services and disposable income. (Although having said that, DIFC did commission that study…)

The DIFC governor al-Tayer is also in the news right now denying that Abu Dhabi is circling the DIFC. The UK’s Sunday Times reported this week that Abu Dhabi was in talks to buy 20 percent of the London Stock Exchange, currently held by Dubai, and reports have suggested that the capital is also eying the DIFC into the bargain. “There are no offers from Abu Dhabi,” Arabic daily Al Bayan quoted Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer as saying. “There is nothing on offer to sell.” Maybe there is “nothing on offer to sell” right now, but that wasn’t the case last week when Borse Dubai offloaded shares in Nasdaq OMX Group to help pay debt ahead of schedule.

According to the Sunday Times, the LSE stake sale would form part of an Abu Dhabi buyout of Borse Dubai – a DIFC subsidiary and the holding company for the local exchanges Nasdaq Dubai and Dubai Financial Market. The suggested Abu Dhabi deal could see the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange merge with the Dubai exchanges.

It’s too early to say how this one will play out, but Kipp is inclined to think that any activity down at DIFC is a good thing. If it shakes the markets into life and tackles some of the upcoming debt maturations it can’t be bad.



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