Dubai to Encourage IPOs From Private Firms to Revive Market
(Bloomberg) -- Dubai plans to encourage private and family-owned businesses to list on its stock market as the business hub seeks to catch up with Abu Dhabi and Riyadh in the Middle East IPO rush.
The city merged its economic and tourism departments on Saturday, and one of the new entity’s main tasks is to prod private and family-owned businesses to sell shares on the Dubai bourse, according to a statement.
On Sunday, the United Arab Emirates’ market regulator said it signed a pact with the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority to enable companies operating in Dafza to offer their shares to the public. The free zone is home to more than 1,800 registered businesses from over 20 sectors and industries, and is not part of Dubai International Airport, according to information on Dafza’s website.
In the past week, Dubai has made a series of moves designed to attract listings to the city and catch up with regional rivals that have drawn billions of dollars over the past year. That included overhauling the board of the local stock exchange and plan to list state-owned utility DEWA -- one of 10 planned over the coming months.
Some of the well-known private firms and family-owned businesses in Dubai include Majid Al Futtaim Holding, the operator of Carrefour SA stores in the Middle East, and Al Khaleej Sugar Co., owner of the world’s largest port-based sugar refiner.
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