Abu Dhabi's international financial center opens
The Abu Dhabi Global Market is situated on Al Maryah Island, which was formerly known as Sowwah Island. (Al Maryah Island)
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Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial centre in Abu Dhabi, will commence operations with the acceptance and approval of financial services licence applications with effect from today (October 21).
This follows the publication of the Financial Services and Markets Regulations (FSMR) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) Rules, which establish the legislative and regulatory framework for financial services in ADGM.
Firms and individuals can now apply for the appropriate financial services licences, under an internationally recognisable legislative and regulatory framework, that facilitates their local, regional and international expansion.
The new financial regulations and rules framework is comprehensive in scope, spanning a variety of regulated financial services, including, asset management, banking and insurance businesses. The regulations also include requirements to safeguard the interests of the marketplace, market infrastructure system, market conduct rules, and ADGM’s enforcement powers and disciplinary actions.
Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, chairman of ADGM, said: “Today marks an important achievement in our journey to develop ADGM, an international financial centre in the heart of the capital of the United Arab Emirates, a centre of wealth and a gateway to the growing economies of the region and beyond.”
“We have been steadfast in our strategy of building an IFC based on collaboration and input from local, regional and international institutions to ensure that we offer a jurisdiction that provides businesses with what they need and want in order to grow and succeed.
“My sincere appreciation to the wise leadership of Abu Dhabi and the UAE for their vision and to the authorities of the Abu Dhabi government, our expert panel members and key stakeholders for their strong support and valuable guidance,” he added.
“As we look ahead, we will continue developing ADGM, with our Courts’ regulations currently in open market consultation phase and the announcement of our Courts’ judges to be made imminently.
“We have established ADGM with an initial core focus based on Abu Dhabi’s strength of wealth management, asset management and private banking. However, we have the flexibility to grow into a broad based IFC, attracting a wide spectrum of financial institutions who will choose ADGM as their home. This will cement ADGM’s global position and ensure we contribute to the global ecosystem of international markets and business networks,” Al Sayegh noted.
Richard Teng, CEO of ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority, said: “The FSRA team is excited and looks forward to welcoming financial services firms who wish to establish their presence and fulfil their business growth in this market and region.”
“As a market regulator, FSRA understands that businesses wish to operate within a trusted financial infrastructure that is anchored by clear, transparent and business-oriented regulations and rules of international standards. In our increasingly borderless business environment, companies and investors can be assured that FSRA is committed to maintaining the fairness and robustness of the ADGM financial system, which fosters business innovation and sustainable growth. This is just the beginning of the journey and we will be here for our companies and investors for the long haul.”
“Over the next few weeks and months, we will continue to closely engage financial institutions to help them understand our regulations and assist them with the application process. As an international financial centre, we are dedicated to forging long term and mutually beneficial partnerships with like-minded members and market participants,” he added.
The FSRA is guided by a key principle of close and active engagement with stakeholders. It consulted a panel of global and local industry experts and conducted a successful open market consultation of its proposed financial legislation and regulations during July and August this year. The consultation garnered positive responses and active participation from local and international industry participants.
Following an in-depth deliberation of the market feedback, the ADGM Board issued the full suite of Financial Services legislation thereby establishing ADGM’s financial regulatory framework that will govern the operations of the FSRA on Al Maryah Island. The newly enacted financial legislation is available on ADGM’s website at adgm.complinet.com/.
Towards an International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi
As a financial free zone administered and anchored by a Board of Directors and three independent regulatory bodies, namely the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the Registration Authority, and the ADGM Courts, the ADGM is committed to fulfil its ambition to become one of the world’s leading financial centres.
Both local and international companies can tap on ADGM’s strengths and service offerings in asset management, private banking, family offices and wealth management to further develop and expand their business and growth plans in Abu Dhabi and the fast-growing markets in the region well into the future.
ADGM is now operational with the introduction of the financial services regulatory framework and the recent key appointments at the independent ADGM Courts. The ADGM Registration Authority has been operational and reviewing licence applications from non-financial services firms since June 15 when the ADGM commercial regulations were published.
ADGM has been working closely with Al Maryah Island tenants and new industry participants to create greater awareness of and assist them in better understanding the registration framework and licencing requirements for the financial free zone. Currently, ADGM is consulting the public on its draft Courts regulations that will establish the framework and environment of ADGM Courts and judicial system.
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