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Mashreq to hike foreign ownership

MashDubai-based Mashreq group is to allow foreign investors own up to 49% of its capital. The move is part of the bank’s preparation for the incorporation of UAE stocks into the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Index in May. The reclassification to emerging market (EM) status will make UAE stocks, including Mashreq, more attractive to foreign investors, who are expected to inject up to AED 1 billion into UAE stocks following the reclassification. By raising the limit on foreign investment, Mashreq believes the bank will be more attractive to the power of global institutional investors. In turn, it said, they will benefit from the bank’s performance and its reputation as one of the leading financial institutions in the UAE. Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, CEO of Mashreq, said a global market needs a global welcome – this is something people at Mashreq are proud to give when the world’s eyes turn towards the UAE’s stocks on the back of its upgraded emerging markets status later this year. Companies and banks in the UAE and Qatar are reviewing their foreign ownership caps ahead of a planned upgrade by MSCI. Mashreq had in September last year raised the foreign ownership limit to 20 per cent.

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