IHC Continues Dizzying Rally to Become UAE’s Most Valuable Firm

A group led by the United Arab Emirates’s influential national security adviser became the Gulf nation’s most valuable firm after its shares surged 15% on Sunday.

International Holding Co. shares jumped by the daily limit after unit Alpha Dhabi Holding PJSC made its trading debut. The company’s market capitalization rose to 202 billion dirhams ($55 billion), making it more valuable than Emirates Telecommunications Group.

Shares in the company have almost quadrupled in value over the past year. Most shareholders are Emirati, not a single analyst covers the company and few observers want to guess at what’s behind the ballooning share price.

The company didn’t respond to Bloomberg’s request for comments.

IHC Continues Dizzying Rally to Become UAE’s Most Valuable Firm

IHC has investments ranging from Elon Musk’s SpaceX to a local fishery company. It’s ultimately controlled by the Royal Group, a conglomerate that lists Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan -- the UAE’s national security adviser and brother to Abu Dhabi’s crown prince -- as chairman.

“IHC has a lot of cross holdings, and that makes it difficult to ascertain the fair value,” said Joice Mathew, head of equity research at United Securities in Muscat.

IHC unit Alpha Dhabi, meanwhile, traded as high as 20 dirhams in a direct listing before closing at 15 dirhams per share. It’s an investment holding company with operations spread across sectors ranging from real estate to hospitality. In April, IHC bought 45% of Alpha Dhabi, which holds a stake in Abu Dhabi’s biggest property developer.

The IHC subsidiary is “is one of the few major contractors still left out in UAE,” United Securities’s Mathew said. “A revival in construction sector will be very beneficial for the company.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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