Three Dubai IPOs in Works as Bourse Promotes Local Listings

(Bloomberg) -- Three companies are preparing initial public offerings for trading on Dubai’s main stock exchange, the bourse said, potentially ending a 17-month IPO drought as it boosts efforts to entice local firms to list domestically rather than abroad.

“We are at different stages of discussions with potential issuers including three companies from the industry, oil and gas services as well as healthcare sectors,” exchange operator Dubai Financial Market PJSC said in an emailed response to questions. The timing of the deals is up to the companies, it said.

Liquidity in Dubai’s main stock market has slumped in the past four years as a drop in oil prices hampered economies across the Gulf, reducing trading volumes and slowing share sales. The last IPO on the DFM was in late 2017, when Emaar Development PJSC sold $1.3 billion in new shares. Last week, Dubai-based Network International raised 1.1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) for a London listing.

Three Dubai IPOs in Works as Bourse Promotes Local Listings

The stock exchange is working with local regulators to encourage initial share sales, including enabling companies based in the emirate’s economic free zones to access the market. Two such companies are considering IPOs through an electronic platform that’s in development, according to DFM.

The bourse is looking to increase the representation of tourism, retail, healthcare and education among listed companies. About 75 percent of the members of Dubai’s main gauge are from the financial or real estate sectors. The benchmark, which posted five consecutive weeks of gains as of Thursday, has risen 11 percent this year, after a loss of 25 percent in 2018, its worst performance in a decade.

Read more about a company created by an Abu Dhabi-based billionaire that is also planing to sell shares in London.

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