Stock - Riyadh skyline / Saudi economy / Saudi Arabia
A string of companies have unveiled plans to list on the Riyadh bourse in recent weeks. Image Credit: AFP

Saudi fintech Rasan Information Technology Co. advanced in its Riyadh debut after raising SR841 million or $224 million, amid a listing spree which has seen several companies start trading in the kingdom over the past month.

The shares rose to as high as 48.1 riyals, up 30 per cent — the maximum allowed — from the offer price of SR37 apiece. That aligns with the strong demand for the stock when the offer was unveiled, with investors putting in orders worth $29 billion and the deal 129 times oversubscribed.

Like some of its Gulf peers, Saudi Arabia is trying to diversify its stock exchange beyond banks and industrial companies that have typically dominated it. The kingdom's technology sector, however, hasn't seen too many listings. Food delivery firm Jahez's heavily oversubscribed offering in late 2021 was an exception.

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A string of companies have unveiled plans to list on the Riyadh bourse in recent weeks, and have been met with overwhelming investor demand. Some offer were more than 100 times subscribed, indicating the listings boom over the last few years still has legs.

Saudi Aramco's mega stock offering this month raised $11.2 billion for Riyadh, the biggest such deal globally in about three years and one that will help fund a multitrillion-dollar push to transform the economy.

That has come hard on the heels of the country's biggest listing of the year, health-care group Dr. Soliman Abdel Kader Fakeeh Hospital Co., which attracted $91 billion in orders, while Saudi Manpower Solutions Co. drew over $30 billion in orders.

Fakeeh jumped 10% in its debut last week but erased most gains since. Saudi Manpower gained 21% in its first trading session on Wednesday. Water treatment firm Miahona has doubled since starting to trade a week ago.

Rasan, which operates online insurance platforms such as Tameeni and Treza, will be among the first fintech firms to go public in the kingdom, which has only seen a few tech listings so far. Apart from Rasan, buy-now-pay-later company Tabby and online cosmetics retailer Nice One are among the technology firms eyeing IPOs, Bloomberg News has reported.

Saudi Fransi Capital and Morgan Stanley were acting as joint financial advisers, bookrunners and underwriters for the IPO.