Dubai-based financial services firm Arqaam Capital has chosen Rothschild to advise it on its planned stock market flotation in the emirate later this year, sources aware of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
The appointment comes after Reuters reported last month that the company had invited banks to pitch for roles in arranging the listing.
Further appointments are expected to be made, according to the sources, as the investment firm lines up banks to execute the initial share offering.
The sources spoke on condition of anonymity as the information isn’t public.
Arqaam has offices in five countries in the Middle East and Africa and offers services including brokerage, asset management and corporate finance advisory. It declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
The flotation is expected to happen in the second half of the year on one of Dubai’s two stock markets, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) or Nasdaq Dubai. A decision on which one has yet to be made, according to three of the sources.
The DFM is usually preferred by companies listing in the emirate given it is a much more liquid market, but bourse rules insist that firms listing there must sell a 55 percent stake and many existing shareholders are unwilling to cede majority control of their businesses. By contrast, Nasdaq Dubai only requires companies to float 25 percent of their capital.
However, waivers to the DFM’s high listing requirements have been given in the past, most recently to Emaar Malls Group , which sold 15.4 percent of itself last year.
Arqaam has around $1 billion of total client assets from around 700 clients, according to a company presentation on its website dated February 2015.
Its current shareholder base includes more than 60 parties, including the Kuwait state-owned Public Institution for Social Security, Dubai’s Emirates NBD, Switzerland’s Vontobel Group and Singapore’s Crescent Group.