Adnoc had indicated last month that it could sell 20 per cent of Adnoc Distribution at a higher price range. Image Credit: Devadasan/Gulf News


Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) has cut the price range for an initial public offer of shares in its fuel distribution unit and will sell only a 10 per cent stake in the unit, valuing the potential deal at $900 million.

United Arab Emirates stock markets have been affected this year by subdued economic growth due to low oil prices, a weak real estate market and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil firm had indicated last month that it could sell as much as 20 per cent of Adnoc Distribution at a higher price range, which would have valued the deal as high as $2 billion, making it the UAE’s biggest IPO since 2007.

But on Wednesday, bookrunners said Adnoc had revised the price range to between Dh2.35 a share and Dh2.65, compared to an earlier range of Dh2.35-2.95.

It plans to sell 1.25 billion shares, which would value the IPO at Dh3.31 billion at the top of the range.

The price cut reflects a cautious attitude among institutional investors who have become “price-sensitive”, said a source familiar with the deal. However, the retail portion of the offer is 14 times oversubscribed, the source said.

Last month’s market debut of Dubai real estate firm Emaar Development was weak, and the stock has now dropped to 5.56 dirhams from the IPO price of 6.03 dirhams. The IPO raised $1.3 billion for Emaar Properties.

Abu Dhabi’s main share index was flat on Wednesday but has fallen 6.2 per cent so far this year.