KHALEEJ TIMES, Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 | Muharram 30,1440
UAE plans initial coin offerings to boost capital markets: Regulator
The UAE 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 said.
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.
A new law may take effect in 2019 to facilitate
IPOs in which family owners sell majority or 100 per cent 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 per cent women on the boards of listed companies, he said.