Oman’s Asyad plans to float Asyad Shipping, hires advisers
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Oman’s Asyad plans to float Asyad Shipping, hires advisers, sources say

Oman’s Asyad plans to float Asyad Shipping, hires advisers, sources say

The company focuses on transporting LNG to the international market, and its fleet includes very large crude carriers and product and chemical tankers

Oman’s Asyad plans to list shipping unit, hires advisers

Oman’s state-owned logistics firm Asyad Group is planning an initial public offering (IPO) of its subsidiary Asyad Shipping Company by the end of the year and has selected Jefferies Group and EFG Hermes as advisers, sources familiar with the matter said.

Asyad Group, EFG Hermes and Jefferies declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Thursday about the IPO plans. Details on the size of the offering were not immediately available.

Asyad Shipping focuses on transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the international market, with a fleet that includes very large crude carriers, product and chemical tankers, and dry bulk carriers.

It lists Brazilian miner Vale and energy firms BP and Shell among its customers and partners.

Asyad Group, owned by Oman’s wealth fund, has more than $4bn of assets and focuses on logistics, transportation, port services, shipping and free zones.

Oman Investment Authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Oman, a small non-OPEC producer, is following its neighbours, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, in pushing state-led listing programmes in a bid to advance privatisation strategies.

That strategy, along with wide reforms that include fiscal discipline, has helped Oman pay down debt and turn its large fiscal deficit of recent years into a surplus since 2022.

The reforms and a shake-up of state entities are being driven by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, who took the throne in early 2020 after the death of Sultan Qaboos, who ruled for nearly five decades.

Ratings agency Moody’s raised Oman’s credit rating from Ba2 to Ba1 in December, one level below investment grade, which was attributed to improvements in debt affordability metrics.

Oman has been pitching to upgrade its classification to an ‘emerging market’ from its frontier market status, which would put it on the radar of global asset managers and bring in foreign investment through passive funds.

Oman and Bahrain are the only countries within the six-member GCC that index provider MSCI does not classify as emerging markets.

Reuters reported in 2021 that Asyad was considering selling a strategic stake in its subsidiary Oman Shipping, which was rebranded as Asyad Shipping in 2022.

Asyad had asked banks to pitch for a mandate to help it review a potential deal in which Asyad could divest up to 40 per cent of its ownership, Reuters reported at the time.

Read: Saudi Arabia’s Fourth Milling Company plans to list 30% stake in IPO, CMA says

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