STOCK Virtual asset
ADGM had been quick on the draw in in coming up with a regulatory framework for virtual assets. This was in 2018. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Abu Dhabi Global Market has brought in major updates to its capital market framework, covering spot commodities, securities, derivatives and index benchmarks. Regulations on virtual assets and environment instruments too have been expanded.

These changes enable greater participation within primary and secondary markets while ensuring ‘ADGM market participants continue to operate in accordance with and under the protection of, the highest regulatory standards

Designed to reinforce and secure ADGM’s market-leading capital market ecosystem across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region,

The changes were first proposed in March last and received ‘significant and widely supportive feedback from the industry and wider stakeholders’. Another regional first inclusion allows purpose-built offerings and listing rules relating to mining and petroleum companies.

“The degree of interest shown in the consultation, as well as the keen interest by participants looking to undertake activities in these significant new areas, is hugely positive,” said Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADGM. “Collectively, ADGM and its market participants continue to provide regulatory and industry leadership, positioning ADGM and Abu Dhabi as the jurisdiction of choice. These enhancements to our capital markets framework will unlock the next stage of investment and growth opportunities, across commodities, environmental instruments, virtual assets activities and wider financial markets.”

Virtual space

Custodians operating within ADGM are now able to seek approval from the FSRA to engage in Non-Fungible Token (NFT) activities. This continues to build on the ‘globally leading position established by ADGM in 2018’ when it brought out a ‘first-of-its-kind comprehensive regulatory framework for virtual asset activities’.

These changes are intended to ‘significantly benefit markets-related activities’, extending to recognised investment exchanges and clearing houses, multilateral trading facilities (MTFs), organised trading facilities (OTFs), market intermediaries, remote bodies and remote members, listed entities, reporting entities, and sponsors.

“These important and major enhancements to our capital markets regulatory framework are a vital part of the FSRA’s objective to continue developing ADGM’s overall comprehensive and progressive regulatory framework,” said Emmanuel Givanakis, CEO of FSRA (Financial Services Regulatory Authority).

First on spot commodity
ADGM’s regulatory framework for spot commodity and environmental instrument activities make it the first international financial centre in the MENA region to do so.