ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market), the International Financial Centre in the UAE’s capital, has experienced impressive growth in the first half of 2023, solidifying Abu Dhabi’s position as a prominent financial powerhouse in the GCC region. The number of investment firms and hedge funds establishing themselves within ADGM has significantly increased, with 102 asset managers currently operating in the market, managing 128 funds. This demonstrates Abu Dhabi’s leadership in the asset management sector. Additionally, ADGM’s Assets Under Management (AUM) have grown by 35% year-on-year as of June 2023.
One key development this year is the enhancement of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority’s (FSRA) framework. This enables collective investment funds in ADGM to invest in credit facilities, primarily targeting alternative financing options for the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) sector. The Private Credit Fund framework was introduced to support this effort.
Renowned global firms like Goldman Sachs, Brevan Howard, and Apollo have chosen ADGM as their location in 2023, highlighting its appeal as a comprehensive financial hub. Furthermore, prominent investor Ray Dalio selected Abu Dhabi as the strategic hub for his family office’s expansion.
Alan Howard, Founder of Brevan Howard, praised the move to ADGM, stating that Abu Dhabi and ADGM provide a transparent and business-friendly environment for the banking, fintech, and investment management industries. Rajeev Misra, CEO of OneIM, also emphasized Abu Dhabi’s emerging role as a global hub for investors.
In the first half of 2023, ADGM’s FSRA introduced its sustainable finance regulatory framework, which includes the region’s most comprehensive Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) disclosure requirements. Additionally, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed an agreement to establish its first Interim Operational Hub at ADGM, with sustainability as a core focus.
Another significant milestone for ADGM in 2023 was the announcement of its expansion to include Al Reem Island, making it one of the largest financial districts globally. This expansion reflects ADGM’s growth trajectory, with operational entities reporting a 36% year-on-year increase.
ADGM has also demonstrated efficiency in issuing commercial licenses, with a 50% improvement in this sector from June 2022 to June 2023.
In response to these developments, H.E. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Member of Abu Dhabi’s Executive Council & Chairman of ADDED and ADGM, expressed excitement about ADGM’s growth at the end of the first half of 2023 and stated that the outlook for the rest of the year remains strong.
Overall, ADGM’s positive performance in 2023 aligns with its Growth Strategy for 2023-2027, highlighting Abu Dhabi’s ambition to lead economic diversification through the expansion of the financial sector.
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