(WAM) - Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), the region’s leading financial market, has announced the distribution of more than AED 23.4 billion in cash dividends to around 406,000 investors on behalf of listed companies in 2018. The cash dividends paid out by listed companies increased around 5.5% compared AED 22.2 billion in the year 2017. This announcement is a confirmation of ADX’s success in providing a distinct investment climate and a stable trading environment for investors and listed companies. ADX holds a market leading position as a distributor of cash dividends to investors. Stock listed on ADX account for 5.8% of cash dividends paid out globally. This strengthens the Exchange’s position as a preferred listing destination and the high levels of competitiveness. ADX has also witnessed a rise in the net institutional investments by 4.5% in the first half of 2018, reaching AED 947 million, compared to 908 million for the same period in 2017. Additionally, the number of institutional investors registering in ADX amounted to 271 in the first half of 2018, compared to 256 in the same period of 2017, an approximate increase of 6%. This brings the total number of institutional investors in ADX to more than 7900 with 5900 being foreign institutions and 2000 local institutions.