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Eight GCC IPOs raise $2.5bn in Q4 2017

DUBAI, March 4, 2018

A total of eight initial public offerings (IPOs) in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017 in the GCC, raised proceeds of $2.5 billion, an increase of $2.3 billion compared to Q3 2017 ($234 million), said PwC, a top provider of assurance, advisory and tax services.

Compared to the same period last year, the number of IPOs and proceeds raised in Q4 2017 is considerably higher with $2.5 billion from a total of eight floats, compared to only $37 million raised from one IPO in Q4 2016.

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) led the GCC IPO activity this quarter (Q4 2017) in terms of proceeds, with two major offerings, raising $2.2 billion (88 per cent of total GCC proceeds).

Tadawul was the largest in terms of IPO volume, witnessing IPOs of three Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) (38 per cent of total IPO volume in Q4), raising $209 million, whereas, the Muscat Securities Market (“MSM”) saw three IPOs, which raised total proceeds of $82 million.

Year on year performance

The total number of GCC IPOs increased significantly in 2017 to reach 28 offerings, compared to four in 2016. This was driven by increased listing activity on Tadawul’s NOMU parallel market, which welcomed nine IPOs (32 per cent of 2017 GCC volume), together with the introduction of REIT listings which also saw nine IPOs across the GCC.

Furthermore, proceeds raised during  2017 were higher by $2.5 billion (322 per cent) compared to 2016, mainly due to the $1.3 billion IPO proceeds raised by Emaar Development PJSC and $850 million IPO proceeds raised by Adnoc (together 66 per cent of total GCC proceeds during 2017).

Steve Drake, head of PwC’s Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services in the Middle East said: “The GCC IPO activity ended 2017 on a high, supported by government policies and improved market conditions. Furthermore, we are seeing renewed appetite for cross-border IPOs and an increase in confidence from institutional investors in GCC equity markets.

“The outlook for 2018 looks positive, with a strong diversified IPO pipeline subject of course to volatility arising from geopolitical factors. The spotlight will remain on Aramco’s IPO, in 2018 which if it comes to market will be the largest global IPO ever.”

Global IPOs

Global IPO activity in Q4 recorded total proceeds of $63.5 billion from 370 IPOs. The quarter was 17 per cent higher in terms of proceeds and 9 per cent lower in terms of the number of IPOs, compared to Q4 2016.  In 2017 as whole, the Global IPO activity was robust with total proceeds of $204.7 billion from 1,483 IPOs, outperforming the previous year in terms of number of IPOs and total proceeds by 47 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively.

The number of IPOs hit a post-financial crisis high, with global IPO activity benefitting from favourable conditions throughout the year, while volatility remained low, as jitters surrounding the French election and the Korean peninsula have failed to unnerve investors. Despite the expectation that monetary conditions will tighten in the US and Europe, the global IPO pipeline for 2018 looks promising, said PwC.

The largest IPO for the year was Snap, a US based technology company which raised $3.9 billion on NYSE.

GCC bond and sukuk issuances

Q4 2017 was a strong quarter for debt issuers in the GCC, with Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi governments amongst key sovereigns, issuing international bonds worth $12.5 billion and $10 billion respectively.

Yearly performance

GCC fixed income transactions have surged in 2017, with sovereign issuers accounting for the lion’s share; followed by corporate debtors, amid strong interest from regional and international investors, cemented by a stable credit outlook.

On the sovereign front, the government of Saudi Arabia raised a total of $21.5 billion, between sukuk issuance of $9 billion in Q2 2017, and bond issuance of $12.5 billion in Q4 2017. The government of Abu Dhabi was another leading issuer with $10 billion worth of bonds issued in Q4 2017.

On the corporate front, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) issued one of the largest bonds during the year, raising $2.3 billion; while the Islamic Development Bank issued one of the largest sukuks during the year, raising $1.25 billion.

“GCC sovereign and corporate debt issuers continued to remain very active during the year, as they have capitalized on strong debt markets globally at competitive rates, ahead of expected interest rate hikes. Moving forward, the US Federal Reserve’s hawkish monetary policy along with ECB plans to scale back quantitative easing may cause a ripple effect on borrowing costs for GCC debt issuances,” said Drake. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: sukuk | PWC |

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