STOCK Americana
Americana office at Jamal Abdul Nasser street in Sharjah. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

The Middle Eastern operator of KFC and Pizza Hut outlets climbed in its debut after raising $1.8 billion in an initial public offering, pulling off the first-ever dual listing in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

Americana Restaurants International Plc gained 13 per cent in Abu Dhabi to 2.95 dirhams and rose 6.7 per cent in Riyadh to 2.86 riyals on Monday. Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar had sold 2.5 billion shares in Americana for 2.62 dirhams each, or 2.68 riyals.

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Americana's listing is the biggest in Saudi Arabia in 2022, a year already marked by a flurry of such offerings in the Middle East as the region attempts to deepen its capital markets. The IPO, which drew orders worth $105 billion, is the third-biggest in the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul stock exchange has been encouraging firms for years to dual list, but none had done so before Americana. The successful deal is likely to set precedent for others.

The Middle East's boom stands in sharp contrast to most other markets, where IPOs have slumped sharply because of concerns over soaring inflation and rising interest rates, coupled with recession risks in the US and Europe. Gulf IPOs are on track to raise more than $20 billion this year "- that would have been an annual record if it weren't for 2019 when Aramco had its $29.4 billion IPO.

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and SNB Capital were joint global coordinators for Americana's IPO, while HSBC Holdings Plc and EFG Hermes were joint bookrunners.