State-owned UAE airline says "No" to IPO
Emirates says it is under “no instructions” to list on the stock market, following a report claiming Dubai is considering selling off part of the lucrative state-owned airline.
Emirates president Sir Tim Clark told Al Arabiya News that he was “surprised” at a report stating that the carrier could be asked to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO).
“We are under no instructions on IPOs whatsoever,” Clark said. “It hasn’t come up in conversation for four or five years.”
The Telegraph reported that Dubai is considering floating parts of assets such as Emirates, Fly Dubai and Dubai Airports in a move that would likely raise billions of dollars.
The UK-based newspaper quoted Mohammed Al Shaibani, executive director and CEO of the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), as saying that he was “serious” about a plan to float Emirates.
“Ideally we would like to list here but we also have the option of a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange, which is very strategic for us because we are the largest shareholders,” he told The Telegraph.
ICD holds stakes in Emirates and numerous other high-profile state assets such as developer Emaar, Dubai Duty Free and Emirates NBD.
Shaibani added that floating parts of some state-owned companies would be a “fantastic way to raise capital if we need it.”
Despite this, an Emirates listing is not likely in the immediate future, Shaibani said.
“We are dead serious. I cannot list it [Emirates] now because there is still value to be created there. We don’t want to give away value just like that,” he was quoted as saying.
Clark noted that any such decision to list was up to Emirates’ owners, rather than the airline itself.
By Ben Flanagan