Dubai’s utility asks banks to pitch for multi-billion dollar IPO
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Dubai’s utility asks banks to pitch for multi-billion dollar IPO

Dubai’s utility asks banks to pitch for multi-billion dollar IPO

DEWA reported net income of $1.3bn for 2019

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) has invited banks to pitch for a role on an initial public offering that could value the utility at around $25bn, people familiar with matter said.

DEWA has named Moelis as an adviser on what will likely be the city’s biggest listing yet, the people said. The company, owned by the Dubai government, will probably choose a mix of international and local banks, they said.

While Dubai firms are required to sell at least 25 per cent of their shares in an IPO, DEWA may try to list a smaller amount at first, the people said.

DEWA and Moelis didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The deal could be the first of 10 IPOs of state companies planned by Dubai as it seeks to revive trading on its bourse and catch up with Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, which have both seen multiple listings in recent months.

DEWA caters to Dubai’s 3.4 million residents and had 12.3 gigawatts of power capacity last year, according to its website. It reported net income of $1.3bn for 2019. The move also comes as Dubai and the wider Gulf economies recover from last year’s coronavirus pandemic and oil-price crash.

That rebound has buoyed regional stock markets. Investors placed more than $34bn of orders for Abu Dhabi-based ADNOC Drilling Co.’s $1.1bn IPO in September. ACWA Power International, a Saudi Arabian utility, attracted $300bn for its $1.2bn listing around the same time.

Dubai’s equity market has climbed 20 per cent this year, while Abu Dhabi’s is up almost 60 per cent and Saudi Arabia’s added 35 per cent.

Dubai announced its plan to IPO companies this month. It’s said that DEWA and Salik, which collects road tolls, will be among the 10 firms, but hasn’t revealed the names of the rest.

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