The offering drew $34 billion in orders from local, regional, international and retail investors. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corp.’s initial public offering in Dubai raised Dh2.66 billion after pricing its shares at the top of a marketed range, with investors putting in $34 billion (Dh124.6 billion) in bids in a show of continued appetite for Middle Eastern share offerings.

Shareholders Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and Emirates Power Investment sold two billion shares - a 20 per cent stake - at Dh1.33 each. The IPO of Empower, as the district cooling firm is known, was doubled in size to a 20 per cent stake from 10 per cent because of strong investor demand.

The offering drew $34 billion in orders from local, regional, international and retail investors - about 47 times the original shares on offer including the cornerstones, the terms showed.

“The huge success of the privatisation programme so far shows that Dubai is well on its way to achieve the vision of the wise leadership to increase the total volume of its stock markets to Dh3 trillion. A vital part of the entire financial ecosystem is the process by which companies raise capital, including by going public. This incredible investor interest is deeply encouraging and illustrates that Dubai is a thriving dynamic international financial centre with real depth and growing demand to its capital markets. It also demonstrates Empower’s strong fundamentals and our company’s value proposition,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of Empower.

Empower is Dubai’s fourth privatisation as the financial hub seeks to ramp up trading volumes. The city’s three IPOs this year have raised about $7.6 billion combined, with the government increasing the size of two of these listings - DEWA and Salik - after drawing significant demand.

The Middle East has stood out this year as a bright spot for IPOs, in contrast to most other major markets which have seen significant drops in activity on the back of high inflation and rising interest rates. The region is headed for its best year on record for IPO proceeds after 2019, when Saudi oil giant Aramco fetched $29 billion in its listing.

Empower’s shares are due to start trading on November 15.