An Emirati woman paddles in a canoe past skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.
Christopher Pike | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Shares in Abu Dhabi Ports Group opened for trading on Tuesday at its debut at 3.6 dirhams ($0.98) per share, after raising 4 billion dirhams ($1.1 billion) in a share sale, the first. in a series of highly anticipated listings for the United States. Arab Emirates this year.
Abu Dhabi Ports, now trading on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) as ADPORTS, operates 10 ports in the UAE, a terminal in Guinea and several logistics and industrial zones. Its flagship Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi was the first deepwater and semi-automated container port in the GCC region.
“The cash proceeds from this primary issuance will be used to fund the company’s organic and inorganic growth plans, enabling the company to accelerate its local and international expansion plans,” the company said in its investor filing.
Abu Dhabi Ports is owned by ADQ, the UAE’s third largest sovereign wealth fund. ADQ remains the majority shareholder with a 75.44% stake in the company. According to documents, ADQ also transferred a 22.32% stake in Aramex and a 10% stake in the National Marine Dredging Company to Abu Dhabi Ports prior to the sale.
Reuters also reported that Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate IHC took a 7.4 percent stake in Abu Dhabi Ports prior to listing through its subsidiary Al Seer Marine, which bought a total of 375 million shares worth 1.2 billion dirhams ($1.2 billion). 326.74 million).
The latest offer comes amid a privatization effort now underway in the United Arab Emirates.
ADX has seen a wave of new listings in the past year, with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), state investor Mubadala and IHC making a number of public offerings, making the ADX one of the best-performing regional markets last year.
ADNOC Drilling raised $1.1 billion for its IPO last October, the largest IPO ever in the emirate. Rival Saudi Arabia has also seen record interest, with exchange operator Tadawul Group’s IPO raising more than $1 billion dollars. It follows the $1.2 billion float of renewable energy company ACWA Power International, which was the largest in the Kingdom since Aramco’s IPO in 2019.
The performance stands in stark contrast to Dubai, where capital markets have lagged competitors in both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, despite renewed investor interest in the Gulf region. Poor liquidity and some high profile de-listings – such as port operator DP World, Emaar Malls and Damac Properties – have tarnished investor sentiment in recent years.
In November, Dubai announced plans to reverse the trend, aiming to “increase the total volume of its stock markets” to AED 3 trillion ($817 billion). The government said it plans to privatize 10 state-owned companies, without naming specific companies or setting a date for the lists.
Business park operator TECOM, utility company Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), road toll system Salik, and companies within the Emirates Group including dnata and loyalty program Skywards, as well as Dubai Airport’s Duty Free are rumored among those eligible for a public offer.
News of the potential new quotes has sent Dubai’s DFM benchmark index soaring by more than 11% since its announcement.