The Dubai Financial Market General Index finished an overall bullish week 023% lower at 2,822.97 points on Thursday. DFM, the sole Arab market whose shares are listed on en exchange, dived 5.56% to Dhs2.21. Investors reacted after DFM managing director and CEO Essa Kazim said in public filing the exchange could neither deny nor confirm a report by Reuters from yesterday which said the the DFM and its sister market ADX in Abu Dhabi appointed banks and advisors to seal a merger before the end of 2013. Reuters said the planned merger would probably not include the international exchange Nasdaq Dubai, citing “sources”. Kazim said “As DFM company, we are not directly involved in any discussions about the subject.” National General Insurance or NGI closed 14.92% higher at Dhs6.78. Earlier in the week on Monday, Dr. Haidar Al-Yousuf, the director of the Dubai health authority, said at the 7th Middle East Healthcare Insurance Conference
a compulsory health insurance could become a reality in Dubai by 2014 the earliest and by 2016 the latest. Dr. Al-Yousuf also asked market participants to be patient. “Introducing a compulsory health insurance is not like switching on the light, it requires a proper preparation and implementation.” Abu Dhabi has already implemented a compulsory health insurance scheme. Conference participants said that the insurance market would see some consolidation in the coming years, as not all of the 40 insurance operators offering health insurance in the UAE could manage to survive the ongoing price war and fierce competition. As of now, only one third of Dubai’s over 2 million residents have a health insurance.