DFM welcomes listing of Union Coop’s shares

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Photo used for illustrative purpose.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on Monday welcomed the listing of Union Coop’s shares, becoming the first cooperative society in the UAE to take this pioneering step, in line with the Government’s decision pertaining to the trading of cooperative societies’ shares on financial markets, which aims to strengthen the regulatory environment for the cooperatives’ sector and reinforce competitiveness.

To celebrate the listing, Majed Hamad Rahma Al Shamsi, Chairman of the Union Coop, rang the DFM market-opening bell in the presence of Hamed Ali, CEO of DFM and Nasdaq Dubai and senior representatives from both sides.

Trading commenced on Union Coop’s shares under the trading symbol “UNIONCOOP”, allowing members to trade Union Coop shares in exactly the same way as the other companies listed on DFM within the Consumer Staples and Discretionary Sector. This listing further strengthens the prominent position of DFM as the leading listing venue for prominent local and regional companies and also supports accelerating the efforts of market participants to implement Dubai’s strategy in further developing its financial markets.

As one of the largest retail cooperatives in the UAE, the value of Union Coop’s shareholders’ equity exceeded Dhs3 billion. It maintains a momentous record of operational and financial excellence since 1984, as net profits recorded a compound annual growth rate of 20.5 percent, while its sales increased 16.85 percent. The Union Coop registered a 2.6 percent increase in net profits of the first quarter of 2022 to Dhs116.5 million, while net profits of the full year 2021 reached to Dhs413 million, with a profit margin of 21 per cent.

Khalid Al Falasi, CEO of Union Coop, said, “The listing underscores our commitment to protect members’ interests by providing them with a regulated, efficient and transparent marketplace for trading Union Coop shares. We are determined to leverage the facilities and services offered by the capital markets to implement our growth strategy and to provide our members with cutting-edge financial market services through DFM.”

Hamed Ali, CEO of DFM and Nasdaq Dubai, said, “We are pleased to welcome the listing of Union Coop as a significant milestone in line with efforts to implement Dubai’s strategy to develop its financial markets and DFM’s endeavor to diversify investment opportunities offered to investors. This listing will enable investors to participate in a notable success story for one of the prominent cooperatives in the UAE and a leading brand in the retail sector, noting this sector’s importance as a key economic driver in Dubai, which is poised to gain further momentum with the listing on the market as we look to welcome more cooperatives in the future.”

Union Coop’s strategy focuses on increasing profits and returns for its members by driving sales and revenues as well as closely monitoring costs in addition to the unceasing development of services for the benefit of its customers.

Union Coop’s operations witnessed a remarkable expansion over the years from two branches in 1984 to 24 branches and 4 malls in 2021. Within the same context, the number of its members reached to 36,659 at the end of 2021 compared to 315 members in 1984.

Meanwhile, GCC stock markets moved mainly positively while energy prices recovered. However, risks remain for equities in the region as recession concerns and inflation erode confidence.

Oil prices were rebounding as supply concerns returned amid the visit of the US president to the region, coupled with improvement in risk moods fueling today’s gains in the oil market. However, demand is still expected to slow down and remained exposed to any global economic difficulties, which could weigh on prices further.

The Dubai stock market was volatile while local and global economic conditions pushed the market in different directions. The market continues to appeal to local companies looking to list, attracting investors at the same time.

The Abu Dhabi stock market was equally volatile due to the uncertainties on oil markets. Crude has recorded large price swings, undermining confidence in equities.

The Qatari stock market started recovering after seeing a significant rebound in natural gas prices. The latter continue to feel an impact from the tension in Europe while Russia seems to increase the pace of its offensive.

The Saudi stock market saw a positive performance after the US president’s visit and oil prices rose. However, the market remains exposed to another round of price corrections since global economic conditions remain uncertain.

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