UAE plans initial coin offerings to boost capital markets — regulator

View of Burj Khalifa the tallest building from the Business Bay area in Dubai, UAE July 8, 2018. Picture taken July 8, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 08 October 2018
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UAE plans initial coin offerings to boost capital markets — regulator

  • In ICOs, companies issue cryptocurrency tokens to investors
  • ESCA is drafting regulations for ICOs with international advisers

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates plans to introduce initial coin offerings (ICOs) next year to provide companies with a fresh way to raise money, the head of the securities regulator said on Monday.
In ICOs, companies issue cryptocurrency tokens to investors, in much the same way as they issue shares in an initial public offer of equity.
“The board of the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority has approved considering ICOs as securities. As per our plan we should have regulations on the ground in the first half of 2019,” Obaid Saif Al-Zaabi told a seminar.
ESCA is drafting regulations for ICOs with international advisers and is working with the Abu Dhabi and Dubai stock markets to develop trading platforms for the offers, he said, adding that details would be announced later.
Weak equity markets coupled with low oil prices in the last several years have severely constrained IPOs in the UAE and the Gulf Arab region as a whole.
A new law may take effect in 2019 to facilitate IPOs in which family owners sell majority or 100 percent stakes in the companies they control, Zaabi said. “The Ministry of Economy has written to the prime minister’s office and we are awaiting approval.”
Other initiatives under way include having a minimum of 20 percent women on the boards of listed companies, he said.


Iraqi oil minister expects prices to rise over time

Updated 10 December 2018
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Iraqi oil minister expects prices to rise over time

  • Ghadhban said the recent fall in Iraqi exports was due to weather conditions
  • “Our goal is to reach an export capacity of 6.5 million barrels per day but over several stages,” he said

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said on Monday he expected the fall in oil prices to stop and for prices to rise over time, adding that if OPEC had not cut production, prices would have dropped to $45-50 per barrel.
Speaking at a ministry event in Baghdad, Ghadhban said the recent fall in Iraqi exports was not due to technical reasons, as Iraqi oil fields have high capacity, but rather because of weather conditions.
“Our goal is to reach an export capacity of 6.5 million barrels per day but over several stages,” he said.
Speaking about the recent Kirkuk oil deal with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Ghadhban said state oil marketer SOMO had received preferential prices, albeit for low quantities.
Iraq last month restarted exports of Kirkuk oil, halted a year ago due to a standoff between the central government and the KRG, after a new government in Baghdad agreed a tentative deal with Irbil.