Eshraq plans to sell 55pc stake in IPO
Abu Dhabi, January 6, 2011
UAE property firm Eshraq plans to sell a 55 per cent stake worth an estimated $224 million in an initial public offering (IPO) next month and list on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange (ADX), a banker has said.
The banker said that several UAE banks were involved in the IPO which would offer 825 million shares and that Eshraq had a capital of Dh1.5 billion ($408.4 million).
'After the IPO, the shares will be listed on ADX,' he said.
The UAE markets have not seen an IPO in about two years as the global economic downturn and Dubai's debt crisis dented investor appetite.
UAE handset retailer Axiom Telecom cancelled its IPO in December, citing 'market conditions and liquidity' concerns.
Earlier, Axiom had said it expected to debut on Nasdaq Dubai in early December with a market value of up to $1 billion.
Asked whether there would be enough investor interest in the deal, the banker said: 'It is a concern to all of us. The promoters are confident that there will be interest but if it is not fully subscribed, the founders have a right to fill the gap as per law.'
Eshraq chairman Saleh Mohammed bin Nasrah was quoted on the website of Arabic-language daily Al Bayan as saying that the firm had won approval from the Securities and Commodities Authority to become a public shareholding company. He said that the firm would offer 820 million shares to the public. He also said that the company had been profitable in the past few years and paid dividends to its stockholders.
Eshraq's biggest project is Marine Rise, a 21-storey complex on Abu Dhabi's Reem Island. Bin Nasra said 80 per cent had been sold to secondary developers.-Reuters