Abu Dhabi Securities market.
Any move to combine Abu Dhabi and Dubai stock markets will help tackle sudden and extreme volatility, says FNC member. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi and Dubai stock markets should consider a merger to better the UAE’s competitiveness regionally and globally, according to a member participating in the Federal National Council deliberations.

The statement will revive speculation that the two exchanges are headed towards an eventual merger. There had been such talk for years now, before subsiding over the last two years. Now, it's picking up steam again.

The merger talk was raised by Obaid Khalfan Al Salami, a member of the House, and related to a discussion on precautionary measures taken by the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority to stem the sharp decline in market value amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Stock markets in the UAE over-reacted negatively to global markets changes,” Al Salami said. “The UAE stock market needs to be developed to operate efficiently and effectively in a competitive stock market environment.”

The UAE Minister of Economy, Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, said, that the stock markets regulator had taken measures to combat recent movements. It has set a maximum 5 per cent daily limit on stock prices moving in either direction from the previous day’s closing.

“The limit could be increased to 7 per cent for select stocks based on criteria that will need to be approved by the Securities and Commodities Authority,” he said

Stocks were allowed a daily 10 per cent maximum drop earlier.