Are dual listings in store for Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi exchanges?

Are dual listings in store for Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi exchanges?

The stock exchanges of Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi have started cooperation talks that could include dual listings on the two bourses, following the signing of a landmark normalization accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

The bourses will also study initiatives to encourage investors to invest in the two exchanges, the development of technological infrastructure for the financial sector, and work on new products, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange said. It added that the talks were at a preliminary stage.

The exchanges are negotiating a memorandum of understanding “to create an agreed-upon framework to examine regional cooperation possibilities,” the TASE said in a regulatory filing Thursday.

Israel and the UAE have been exploring business opportunities since deciding to normalize relations, with new cooperation pacts signed in sectors ranging from banking to mobile phone services. Saudi Arabia has granted overfly rights on routes between Israel and the UAE, allowing travel between the two countries in about three hours.

The Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange has 66 listed securities, with trading volumes mostly concentrated in large caps from the financial sector such as First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, the UAE’s biggest lender. The Tel Aviv exchange, which made its own market debut a year ago, has 1,020 stocks including several technology companies that are cross-listed in the U.S.

The exchanges in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have a combined market capitalization of $265 billion, compared with $168 billion for the Israeli bourse, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The TA-35 index rose 1% as of 12:03 p.m. in Tel Aviv, while the ADX General Index was little changed.

(Adds Thursday index levels in final paragraph.)