Gulf’s top IPO issuer in 2017

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DUBAI — The economic activity associated with initial public offerings (IPOs) is vital for the overall development of regional capital markets.

Thus said Mazen Boustany, Head of Banking & Finance at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla in the United Arab Emirates UAE in a statement.

Boustany added that these IPOs-sitimulated capital markets will then trigger further growth in the Arab economies, including the UAE, which topped the list of countries in terms of raising capital through IPOs in 2017.

Four companies in the UAE raised a total $1.287 billion in 2017, followed by Saudi Arabia, which raised $663 million, according to a report published by the law firm Baker McKenzie.

The UAE figure does not include $851 million IPO done by Adnoc Distribution in mid-December.

The overall IPO activity from the Middle East saw a 225 percent increase in terms of volume and 315 percent increase in value. The UAE had the largest share (64.4 per cent) in terms of capital raising.

Qatar raised $138 million from only one IPO, while Oman raised $46 million through 3 IPOs.

“Stability of oil prices and the political situation will contribute to developing market penetration and enhancing liquidity,” added Zahi Younes, Capital Markets/M&A 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.”

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