Middle East's IPOs up 55 Percent in 2017: Report

Published December 24th, 2017 - 01:16 GMT
The Middle East's initial public offering (IPO) values were up 55 percent year-on-year, from $676 million to $2.1 billion in 2017, according to a report by global law firm Baker McKenzie. (AFP/ File)
The Middle East's initial public offering (IPO) values were up 55 percent year-on-year, from $676 million to $2.1 billion in 2017, according to a report by global law firm Baker McKenzie. (AFP/ File)

The Middle East region’s initial public offering (IPO) values were up an impressive 55 per cent year on year, from $676 million to $2.1 billion in 2017, while volumes also increased by 40 per cent, from four IPOs in 2016 to 12 IPOs in 2017, according to the latest Cross-Border IPO Index prepared by global law firm Baker McKenzie.

The number of IPOs this year compared to 2015 climbed by 22 per cent, although capital raised fell by 3 per cent.

Overall IPO activity from the Middle East (both domestic and cross-border) saw a 225 per cent increase in terms of volume and 315 per cent increase in value. The UAE and Saudi Arabia led domestic IPO activity with four listings each, followed by Oman with three and Qatar with one. The UAE had the largest share (64.4 per cent) in terms of capital raising from the region, with proceeds of $1.3 billion from its four listings. This value excludes the $851 million listing of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution PJSC (the biggest listing on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange in the past decade), which was only priced on December 13, 2017.

“Stability of oil prices and the political situation will contribute to developing market penetration and enhancing liquidity,” said Zahi Younes, Capital Markets/Mergers and Acquisitions partner at Baker McKenzie's associated firm in Saudi Arabia. “As per our recent global transactions forecast, strong economic reforms and privatisation plans in Saudi Arabia will lead to an increase in investor appetite and are likely to drive IPO activity in 2018.”

The top sectors by volume for domestic IPOs in the region in 2017 were financials and energy and power, with three listings each, and the top sector by value was the real estate sector, with more than $1.2 billion raised from one listing.

Global initial public offering volumes in 2017 reached the highest level in a decade, according to the latest Cross-Border IPO Index prepared by global law firm Baker McKenzie. The Middle East region also picked up with 300 per cent increase in value of domestic deals and securing the first cross-border listing in the region since 2015.

Low market volatility as a result of the relatively benign geopolitical environment and improved market sentiment were behind the increase in global IPO activity, which saw both cross-border and domestic activity grow. In total, 1,694 companies raised $206.6 billion from IPOs, a jump of around a third in both value and volume on 2016.

Cross-border activity

Cross-border deals jumped by 60 per cent in volume, growing in all regions, including Latin America, which saw its first cross-border listing in 10 years. Cross-border capital raising also grew in value in 2017 by 25 per cent, the majority of which was accounted for by a strong performance in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and North America. That helped offset a decline in Asia Pacific cross-border capital raising.

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The UAE recorded the only cross-border listing in the Middle East region, by ADES International Holding, which raised $243.5 million on the London Stock Exchange.

“The economic activity associated with IPOs is vital for the overall development of regional capital markets, which in turn will stimulate further growth in Arab economies,” said Mazen Boustany, Head of Banking and Finance at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla in the UAE.

Editor's note: The article has been adapted from its original source.


© Muscat Media Group

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