The number of IPOs in the Middle East and their ticket sizes have fallen drastically since 2008, with only four issuances so far this year, according to Phil Gandier, transaction advisory services leader, Ernst & Young MENA.
“The public offerings industry and investor sentiment have not recovered since then. In fact, the region has not seen a public offering greater than $500 million since 2008,” he said.
The outlook for this year also looks bleak, said Gandier.
“This year, IPOs will likely come to market at their slowest pace since 2007. The continuing aftershocks from the global financial crisis and now the looming Eurozone problem have not helped restore confidence in the market and the trend going forward points to further weakness,” he said.
“Recovery will most likely be seen in the medium to long term led by a strengthening KSA IPO market which is seeing an increase in activity this year,” Gandier added.
Here are the biggest IPOs ever issued in the GCC, as compiled by Ernst & Young.
1. Dubai Ports World Ltd – DP World
The indebted UAE-based shipping company raised more than $4.2 billion when it listed on the Nasdaq Dubai stock exchange in November 2007.
2. Saudi Telecom – STC
Riyadh-based STC, the largest telecommunications firm in Saudi Arabia, raised more than $4 billion when it launched its IPO in February 2003.
3. Al Inma Bank
Saudi Arabia’s Al Inma Bank listed on the Tadawul index in June 2008 and raised more than $2.79 billion.
4. Saudi Arabian Mining Co – Ma’aden
The mining company’s IPO raised over $2.46 billion when it was issued in July 2008.
5. Mobile Telecommunications Co Saudi Arabia- Zain
The second Saudi Arabian telecoms company on the list, Zain issued its IPO in March 2008, and raised over $1.88 billion.
6. Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co
The chemicals company raised over $1.79 billion when it listed on Saudi’s Tadawul index in June 2007.
7. Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Co – PetroRabigh
Another Saudi-based chemicals company, PetroRabigh launched its IPO in January 2008, and raised more than $1.2 billion from the issuance.
8. Masraf Al Rayan QSC
The Qatari financial services company raised over $1.17 billion when it listed on the Doha Securities Market in June 2006.
9. Emaar the Economic City
The Saudi company managed by Dubai’s Emaar Properties, which leads the master planning and development of the King Abdullah Economic City, raised $956 million when it listed on the Tadawul in August 2006.
10. Vodafone Qatar QSC
The Qatar-based telecoms company raised $952 million when it launched its IPO in July 2009.