Abu Dhabi financial zone prepares to receive licence applications

Abu Dhabi’s new financial free zone is preparing to receive next year its first licence applications from firms seeking to operate there, after appointing a panel of 16 institutions to advise on its regulatory framework.

The launch of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) comes as the emirate seeks to diversify its economy away from oil and gas, while widening its footprint in the Gulf’s competitive financial services industry. Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain already have established financial centres.

Representatives from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Pacific Investment Management, Lazard, Credit Suisse, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (Isda) and Man Group will help to tailor the ADGM’s rules.

The panel will also include United Arab Emirates-based National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, First Gulf Bank, Mubadala Development Co and ADS Securities. The remaining two panel members asked not to be named.