Riyadh has told international firms to put their MidEast hubs there by the start of 2024 or risk losing out on business.
The Middle East IPO market has suddenly come alive with a clutch of listings that are set to raise billions of dollars, with Abu Dhabi starting to catch up with regional leader Riyadh.
The listings in Abu Dhabi come amid a push from the oil-rich emirate to revive the local bourse. Satellite operator Yahsat kicked off the IPO frenzy in July, becoming the first listing on the exchange in nearly four years.
Since then, deals worth billions have been announced. On Monday, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. said it’s planning to sell shares in its drilling unit in what would rank among the largest initial public offerings in the United Arab Emirates. A day later, sovereign wealth fund ADQ announced plans to list Abu Dhabi Ports before the end of the year.
Others including Emirates Global Aluminium and Adnoc’s fertilizer joint venture Fertiglobe are also weighing listings in Abu Dhabi. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has been the hottest market for IPOs in the Middle East over the past two years, with three listings on the main market this year and more to come.
Solutions by STC
Saudi Telecom’s internet-services unit is seeking to raise as much as $966 million from an IPO in Riyadh. The offer was fully covered on its first day, in another sign of pent up demand for share sales in the kingdom.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. is planning to sell shares in its drilling unit in an IPO that could value the business at up to $10 billion. Book-building starts on Sept. 13.
Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power International, half-owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, is set to begin an IPO as it seeks to raise financing for its transformation into a low-carbon energy producer. The listing may value the utility at $10 billion or more. Book-building starts on Sept. 15.
Abu Dhabi Ports
Sovereign wealth fund ADQ plans to list Abu Dhabi Ports on the emirate’s exchange before the end of the year.