Contrasting Bourses & Future Market Trends Key to Successful IPO

Published March 6th, 2007 - 12:34 GMT

Undertaking comparative reports, selecting the bourse most suited to achieve company goals and ambitions and evaluating future market trends, are essential for a successful public offering according to experts speaking at the 2nd Middle East IPO Summit. The conference, which is due to take place on 24-29 March at the Madinat Jumeirah, Mina A’Salam Hotel in Dubai, will debate the whole spectrum of issues concerning IPOs with a special panel discussion on how various bourses operate and the comparative merits of listing on different exchanges.

“Public and private companies, investors and brokers, should understand more about how other regional and international bourses operate and whether they complement a company’s goals and ambitions,” commented Tamer Bazzari, Executive Partner at Dubai-based Rasmala Investments.

Shares across the GCC bourses have been more or less stagnant since the start of year showing little sign of returning the US$ 436 billion market capitalisation lost during the meltdown in 2006. The markets are still vulnerable to volatile swings due to the limited number stocks available, which between the GCC bourses, still only accommodate 586 listed companies, ironic given the phenomenal amount of funds seeking investment opportunities.

Private companies have been stalling on planned IPOs due to dented investor confidence. The paradox is that strong underlying economic indicators right across the Middle East should support a ‘bull run’, but crucially with no ‘real’ historical records, the performance of regional bourses, is largely lacklustre.

Bazzari added, “Successful IPOs can help to stabilise the markets and achieve sustainable growth, built on fundamentals as opposed to sentiment.”

Debate and discussion amongst investment experts, regulators and market leaders will centre on regulatory and industry standards, corporate governance and transparency, reporting standards and internal audit, management changes and restructure. It will also address the costs associated with IPOs and the long-term obligations of public companies as well as the critical factors underpinning oversubscriptions, over-pricing and macro-economic issues affecting IPOs.

Two dedicated workshops have also been organised and will examine IPO feasibility studies which assess how to prepare for listing and structuring a successful IPO. New this year is a four-day, in-depth seminar entitled “Certified IPO Specialist”, which runs for two days pre and two days post of the main conference.

An impressive line-up of international and regional financial experts are expected to speak at the event including amongst others, Henry Azzam, Chairman, Dubai International Financial Exchange, Habib Mulla, Chairman, Dubai Financial Services Authority, Vivek Rao, Head of Finance, Tamweel, Zahed Chowdury, Head of Middle East Research, Deutsche Bank, Mark Hanson, Head of Corporate Finance, Saudi Hollandi Bank, Omar M. El Quqa, Executive VP – Corporate Finance & Treasury, Global Investment House and Mahmoud Salem, VP – Business Development and Depository Receipts MENA, Bank of New York.

Global Investment House is the diamond sponsor of the 2nd Middle East IPO Summit.


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