Privatisation to drive Mena IPO market – DIFC

Growth in the Mena region’s initial public offerings (IPOs) market will be dependent on three phases – privatisation of state entities, listings by family-owned businesses; and the rise of fintech startups.

This is the conclusion of a report compiled by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in association with LSEG Data & Analytics.

The Regional Outlook for Banking and Capital Markets report notes that the region, and Dubai in particular, has attracted a growing number of wealthy families and individuals, many of whom are looking to capitalise on investment opportunities through the IPO market.

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Arif Amiri, chief executive officer, DIFC Authority, said: “Driven by the surge in IPOs, capital markets across the MENA region have experienced remarkable expansion, driven by reforms aimed at enhancing market infrastructure and fostering greater foreign and regional investment inflows,” said Arif Amiri, chief executive of the DIFC.

The report comes on the back of two years of moderate IPO growth amid signs that 2024 will see an increase in activity. This is partly a result of companies postponing their IPOs in 2023 due to market conditions, and partly a result of the aforementioned themes.

According to the report, the privatisation of state entities is creating greater economic diversification. Dubai intends to list ten currently state-owned entities and as of March 2024, six of these ten have completed their IPOs, including Parkin, the car park operator, whose listing attracted a record US$71 billion in orders. which was 165 times covered and attracted$71 billion in orders – a new record for the emirate.

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