IPO activity in GCC stock markets increase in the second quarter

Four companies launched their initial public offerings in GCC stock markets during the second quarter, up from just one in the first quarter.

They raised capital of US$1.15 billion in all, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report.

Between January and June, the average IPO value was 30 per cent more than that in the first half last year, said the professional services consultancy.

“The amounts raised demonstrated that there is still equity investor appetite to invest in the right company,” said Steve Drake, PwC’s head of Middle East capital markets.

He added that PwC expected activity in the regional IPO market to increase until year-end.

Saudi Arabia maintained its market dominance, accounting for three of the four IPOs, while Phoenix Power, the owner of Oman’s largest operating power plant, also went public.

Companies are faring better by using the capital markets rather than seeking funding from strategic investors and private equity firms, according to Nadim Kayyali, the head of Middle East corporate affairs at the law firm Eversheds.

“It is becoming more attractive to acquire capital or liquidity through the market globally, and the Middle East will continue to follow that trend,” he said.​


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