Saudi Private School Operator Jumps 10% in Riyadh Trading Debut

(Bloomberg) -- One of Saudi Arabia’s biggest private-school operators surged in its first day of trading in Riyadh, the latest evidence of a push by the local exchange to attract smaller companies.

Shares of Ataa Educational Co. rose 10% shortly after open, the maximum allowed for the session. Twelve million shares were sold at 29 riyals apiece in an initial public offering, raising 348 million riyals ($93 million).

The education company is the fourth to list in the kingdom’s capital this year, with all deals involving share sales of less than $700 million. The bourse is attempting to add more names to the biggest stock exchange in the Middle East and Africa and expects 2019 to be one of the best in the past five years for new deals, its head said in an April interview.

Ataa Educational has operated for almost 30 years and is Riyadh’s second-largest educational company by enrolled students, according to the IPO prospectus. It has direct and indirect ownership of 13 campuses in the capital, offering national and international syllabuses.

Here are some more details about Ataa’s listing:

  • 30% of the company’s total capital was sold in the IPO
  • Allocation: 90% to institutional investors, 10% to individuals
  • HSBC was the financial adviser and lead manager
  • The other education companies trading in Riyadh are National Company for Learning & Education and Al Khaleej Training and Education

Companies that started trading in Riyadh this year (as of July 30):

  • Arabian Centres: +3.9% since listing
  • Maharah Human Resources: +45% since listing
  • Al Moammar Information Systems: +26% since listing

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