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Laws Released To Govern New Abu Dhabi Free Zone

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), a soon-to-launch free zone in the United Arab Emirates, announced on June 30, 2015, that it has published draft financial services legislation for open-market consultation.

The draft legislation covers fund management, mandatory disclosure requirements, market conduct rules, and the ADGM's disciplinary actions and enforcement powers, among other things. The public consultation will last for six weeks, ending on August 11, the free zone said.

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman of ADGM, said: "The publication of Abu Dhabi Global Market's draft financial services legislation is a major milestone on the road to establishing ADGM as an International Financial Centre."

Richard Teng, CEO of ADGM's Financial Services Regulatory Authority, said: "At ADGM, we believe that an enduring financial market is well-anchored by a fair, efficient, and transparent regulatory framework that is responsive to the needs of its market as well as the developments in the global regulatory environment. Our regulatory approach adopts a calibrated balance of maintaining rigor in regulation while nurturing financial competition and innovation."

ADGM aims to become a major financial services center, which will focus on asset management, private banking, and wealth management during the first phase of its establishment. It will provide firms with a number of benefits, including exemption from taxes guaranteed for 50 years; relaxed rules on the repatriation of profits; and an allowance for 100 percent foreign ownership.

With the release of the legislation, ADGM has said it is on track to begin processing the first financial services license applications by the final quarter of this year.


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