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Tel Aviv bourse head seeks more bilateral investing with UAE

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TEL AVIV, Sept 6 (Reuters) – The head of Israel’s stock exchange on Tuesday called for increased investment from Israeli and Emirati investors in each other’s exchanges to boost liquidity.

Two years after the so-called Abraham Accords, which saw relations normalised between Israel, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Morocco, a number of economic, trade and financial agreements between Israel and the UAE were forged. Yet there has been no significant trading in each other’s markets.

Ittai Ben Zeev, the chief executive of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) (TASE.TA), proposed that Israeli brokers offer Emirati securities to Israeli investors and international brokers offer Israeli ones to investors in the UAE and Gulf region.

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“There is a lot of potential in creating those liquidity pools,” Ben Zeev told Reuters on the sidelines of an event between the TASE and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), being attended in Tel Aviv by a large Emirati delegation.

“What we will try to achieve with the delegation is that Israeli brokers and the brokers that they have start speaking with each other and with the exchanges and to see how we can make it happen,” he said.

Ben Zeev noted that dual listing of companies was also possible but the issue of liquidity was more important and may not need much change in regulations.

He said that while the United States and Europe have long been close trade partners, TASE member companies should start looking at the UAE, Africa and Asia. Most of the exchange’s 550 companies do business outside Israel and always look at diversifying their business and investor bases, he added.

Mohamed al Khaja, the UAE ambassador to Israel, told Israeli companies that his country was looking to develop long-term opportunities.

“Building bridges between Israel and the UAE has created a powerful growth engine that will not only contribute to the economies of our nations but also result in the overall region benefiting from it,” added ADGM chairman Ahmed Al Zaabi.

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Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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