World’s Best Trading Debut of the Year Adds to Gulf IPO Bonanza

World’s Best Trading Debut of the Year Adds to Gulf IPO Bonanza

1 Nov    Finance News, Physics

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(Bloomberg) — A rare late-year flurry of activity is adding to the boom in Middle Eastern initial public offerings this year, including a tech listing that nearly quadrupled in its debut.

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Geospatial and data analytics firm Bayanat AI Plc closed 273% above its listing price in Abu Dhabi on Monday, the best first-day performance globally for an IPO raising at least $100 million this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The tech listing is unusual in the energy-rich Middle East.

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A busy start to the week also saw Americana Group kick off what’s set to be a landmark dual listing in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, as the operator of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in the Middle East and Africa received approval from Saudi Arabia’s market regulator. Dubai-based cooling firm Empower opened books, while private school operator Taaleem Holdings PJSC and Riyadh Cables Group announced IPOs.

With $16.6 billion raised so far, Middle Eastern IPOs are set for their best year on record after 2019, which saw Aramco’s mammoth $29.4 billion offering. That’s a sharp contrast to plummeting share sales in developed markets that are grappling with soaring inflation, hawkish central banks and the threat of recession.

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“Successes like Bayanat could cement the trend for new introductions in the region as they incentivize companies and draw the attention of investors,” said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss. 

Rising oil prices and investor inflows have made the Middle East a bright spot in the global listings market this year, and more companies are rushing to strike while the iron is hot. That’s spurring an unusually busy period in a region where IPOs are typically spaced out so as to not suck too much liquidity out of the market.

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In the latest show of strong investor demand, Bayanat’s $171 million IPO was oversubscribed 90 times. The listing was backed by private equity firm Silver Lake and IHC, the United Arab Emirates’ most valuable company.

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