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Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority Issues New Rules

Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (Esca) has issued new rules related to appropriate corporate governance to be applied by the listed companies. Esca derived the rules for managing companies from the common international norms and practices, relying on the main criteria applied by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The framework provides for principles such as accountability, transparency, disclosure and protecting shareholders' rights.

'The authority published the framework for a substantial period of time on its website, and we were keen to get the feedback of all the concerned parties,' an Esca official was quoted to have said in a report in the Gulf News.

The authority's board approved the final draft on March 31 after reviewing the public feedback and concerns, and at the same time maintaining the prevailing international practices.

'Adopting these rules came to define the roles and responsibilities of chairmen and members of listed companies' boards, while we ensured the separation between the different authorities in running the companies,' said Abdullah Al Turaifi, Esca's chairman.

He said these rules will enhance the confidence in UAE equities, representing a new point of attraction for foreign investments.

'Corporate governance supports the rights of the minority shareholders, especially in events like general assemblies meetings, as they are among the owners of the company.'

The new framework is set in 19 articles and includes definitions for board members and their authorities, classifying them into independent members, executive members, and non-executive members.

The codes also stipulate the tasks and obligations of board members, and the formation of internal subcommittees.

Internal supervision, and drafting a corporate governance report, which should include detailed information related to transparency and disclosure, were also emphasised.-(Trade Arabia News Service)

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