Dubai: The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) recently held annual general meetings (AGMs) for six listed companies (two private joint stock companies and four public joint stock companies) using Blockchain technology.

The move enhanced transparency and allowed shareholders to participate in all aspects of the meetings. It also afforded shareholders the chance to use advanced e-voting techniques.

ADX is the first bourse in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region and the third globally to adopt the Blockchain technology. The technology’s launch in 2016 was part of the exchange’s strategic innovations to further empower and strengthen services provided by the Abu Dhabi bourse to local and foreign investors, listed companies and stakeholders.

“I encourage the companies to use the Blockchain technology, and I am confident that more training and practice of this technology will widen the positive outcomes as well as bring more companies to use Blockchain technology,” Rashed Al Beloushi, ADX chief executive said in a statement. “This [is] in line with [the] Abu Dhabi 2030 Economic Vision that seeks to strengthen the digital transformation in the UAE.”

The Blockchain technology enables investors to use e-voting in AGMs and access statistical records of each company and its investors through smart devices. It also enables investors to vote from inside the UAE and overseas.

“I believe that the partnership between ADX and its listed companies will further solidify when the digital culture becomes a common language. This is what ADX is working on through constant training and encouragement [concerning the utilisation of] the new technical enhancements and technological innovations by [the] ADX,” said Al Beloushi.

“ADX has contracted some companies to be their agent. This includes distributing dividends on their behalf and transferring [the dividends] to the bank accounts of the company’s shareholders within 30 days of the AGM. It also enables ADX to manage the records and the general assemblies. Companies interested in these services must sign agreements with ADX,” Al Beloushi added.