|10-22-2014, 09:45 PM||#1|
UAE, Saudi Arabia IPO Pipeline seems strong in first half of 2015, PwC says
The strong stream of initial public offerings (IPO) is expected to be sustained in the first half of 2015 in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said on Wednesday.
The UAE has witnessed two IPOs this year, while in Saudi Arabia the National Commercial Bank’s $6 billion IPO is set to be the second largest IPO for the year, second only to Alibaba’s $25 billion.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange is expecting at least two listings by the end of 2014, although there have been talks of around to 4 potential companies to go public.
The Dubai Financial Market is also expecting to have two more by the end of the year.
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates received an upgrade from frontier markets to emerging markets by the MSCI and S&P this year, which has been boosting investor sentiment and increasing the appeal of equity-financing for firms as it would bring massive potential into regional markets.
Also, a recent announcement by Saudi Arabia`s regulatory authority declared that the local stock market, which is the largest in the region, would be opened to direct foreign investment by the start of next year.
Companies and investors alike are excited about the opening to foreign investment as it would bring along huge amount of inflows into the stock market.
“Indications are for a continued strong pipeline of IPOs in 2015 at least in the first half. In the Saudi market there is quiet a backlog of approvals, which will come in 2015, so there will be a relatively strong pipeline in 2015 due to that. And similarly in the UAE, we are seeing good pipeline when completed will come in 2015,” Steve Drake, Head of PwC’s Capital Markets team in the Middle East region said.
However, declining oil prices and an expected downturn in equity markets could provide a setback in the second half of 2015, PwC said.
Equity valuations worldwide are not looking so bright, and traditionally what happens in the global market is notably reflected on Middle East markets, and any impact in the second half on global equities could derail the IPO pipeline.
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