Initial public offerings in region are picking up in a year-end rush, showing strong demand for regional share sales despite a subdued market for listings globally.
Dubai Taxi Co.'s IPO of as much as $315 million sold out within an hour of opening books on Tuesday, as investors piled into the emirate's first privatization in a year. On the same day, a health-care platform controlled by an Abu Dhabi wealth fund and its largest conglomerate announced its IPO plans.
The deals follow the $451 million IPO of Investcorp Capital Plc, an investment vehicle backed by the Middle East's biggest alternative asset manager, which made its debut last week. Cryptocurrency mining hardware retailer Phoenix Group Plc has also drawn strong demand and is set to start trading next month in Abu Dhabi.
The slew of offerings in the UAE comes on the back of an 8 per cent rally in the MSCI GCC Countries Index since a late October low.
About $8.4 billion has been raised through IPOs in the Middle East this year, which is down 54 per cent from the bumper levels a year ago, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Still, all but one of the 12 listings raising at least $100 million have risen from their offer prices, the data show.
That contrasts with a gloomier picture elsewhere. In Europe and the US, barely half of the $100 million-plus IPOs this year are trading above their offer prices. The lackluster performance has pushed out hopes for a recovery of the IPO markets in those regions firmly into 2024.