Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) will soon allow foreigners to own its shares, as per company officials. The Emirates Investment Council is working on amending the law to allow foreign ownership of its shares. However, the amount of shares that could be allowed to be owned by foreigners was not disclosed.
Out of 69 firms quoted on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, there are still 16 companies mostly state-owned banks and financial institutions that still have preferred not to offer their shares to foreign investors.
National Bank of Ummal Quwain, National Bank of Fujairah, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank are prominent financial institutions along with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, or Taqa, which have yet to allow foreign ownership of their shares, according to the Abu Dhabi Exchange website.
Others include Abu Dhabi Aviation, Fujairah National Insurance, Al Ain Al Ahlia Insurance, Al Wathba Insurance, Al Dhafra Insurance, Emirates Driving, Fujairah Building Industries and Foodco Holding.
A majority of the firms who have allowed foreign investment into their shares have put a maximum ownership ceiling of 25%, while the minimum limit is 20%. However, foreign investors are allowed to own 49% shares of six companies including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Dana Gas, Eshraq Properties, Fujairah Trade Centre and Gulf Pharmaceuticals.
Established in 1976, Etisalat is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and operates in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. To date, the group’s global subscriber base exceeds 140 million through mobile and landline voice and data services.
The MENA Weekly Monitor – Bank Audi