Al Khalili puts IPO on hold due to weak market

Al Khalili puts IPO on hold due to weak market. (AFP)

Oman's Al Khalili Group, a family-owned industrial company, has stalled plans for an initial public offering due to weak market conditions, the lead manager for the issue said yesterday.

"The Al Khalili Group IPO is on hold because the market is not receptive to new issues just yet," said Deputy General Manager Loay Bataineh of Oman Arab Bank, the lead manager of the issue.

In Januray, Bataineh said the group was planning to sell 40 per cent of its paid up capital or about 60 million shares in the open market through a public offering.

An official for Al Khalili Group, who spoke in the condition of anonymity, said prices of most listed companies now trade below their actual values which could prevent the company from getting the right price for the issue.

"We will not get a fair price now because most of the blue chip companies are trading below their worth," he said.

Al Khalili's decision could impact the outlook for other IPO hopefuls in the region, such as Hasan Juma Backer Trading and Contracting, Al Argan Towell Investment Company, Oman Merchant Bank and Barr Al Jissah Resort.

Other potential offering on hold is telecom operator Nawras Telecommunications, Qatar Telecom's local unit, but the Omani bourse chief Yahya Al Jabri said last month he expected the issue to come out soon.

The total value of IPOs in the Middle East and North Africa region fell 83 per cent in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.


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