June 21, 2018 / 1:58 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UAE regulator asks listed companies to declare exposure to Abraaj

(Adds statement by Dubai regulator DFSA, background)

By Stanley Carvalho and Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI, June 21 (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates’ top securities regulator has asked UAE-listed companies to declare their exposure to Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj, which filed for provisional liquidation last week.

The Securities & Commodities Authority sent a letter earlier this week and companies had until Thursday to submit their responses, Obaid al Zaabi, chief executive of the regulator told Reuters.

Air Arabia, a Dubai-listed low cost carrier, said this week it had a $336 million exposure to Abraaj, which is the Middle East’s biggest private equity firm. Shares in the airline plunged because of its links to the company.

Al Zaabi said some companies in the UAE had exposure to Abraaj, without naming them.

A court in the Cayman Islands, where Abraaj Holdings is registered, ordered this week that PwC be appointed as provisional liquidators of the company and Deloitte as liquidators of Abraaj Investment Management Ltd.

On Thursday, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which is the regulator of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), said it would discuss “various matters” with the liquidators and “will continue to work toward safeguarding the interests of investors.”

The DFSA is involved because Abraaj has an entity regulated in DIFC.

Abraaj agreed to sell its Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa, North Africa and Turkey Funds management business to U.S. investment management firm Colony Capital Inc, the companies said on Thursday.

DFSA said in a statement that it was aware of the proposed deal. (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho and Davide Barbuscia, additional reporting by Saeed Azhar Editing by Mark Potter/Keith Weir)

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