Stock Emirates NBD bank
A bonanza is building up for leading UAE banks associated with the DEWA IPO. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The anticipation for the DEWA has been building up among UAE’s retail investors ever since Dubai announced its plans for the 10 IPOs from government-owned enterprises. The likely size of the IPO will be clear after March 24, which is when subscription opens.

According to market analysts, the 6.5 per cent stock floatation implies an IPO size of Dh9 billion or thereabouts. Retail investor participation could set a new record for an IPO in Dubai, while UAE-based institutional investors too will be joining in wholeheartedly.

“One look at DEWA’s announced dividend plans of Dh6.2 billion a year for the next five years is enough to convince anyone,” said an investor who has been closely tracking equities in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. “It will be the bluest of blue-chips.”

Feeding the rush

Emirates NBD and other participating banks have been keeping the networks busy by sending the share application prospectus since morning. “Within hours of the banks opening for business, priority clients and others had the forms in their inboxes,” said Vijay Valecha, Chief Investment Officer at Century Financial. “There is no doubt that this is going to be one heavily oversubscribed IPO.”

A chance for foreign investors?

Foreign investors too will have a chance to get into the action. “DEWA has received a very enthusiastic response from foreign investors, mainly because of its track record, business metrics and the support of the government," said Thomas Varghese, Chief Financial Officer of DEWA, at a media briefing held Tuesday to announce the IPO. "We have received interests from investors around the world - and that's a good place to start with.”

On the ongoing geopolitical crisis from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and what it might mean for overseas investor interest in the IPO, the CFO said: "There is disturbance in Europe, but we don't see it adversely affecting our programme. Hopefully, the programme [IPO] will continue without any disruption or surprises."