Citadel mulls listing Taqa Arabia stocks on Egyptian exchange

Cairo-based private equity firm Citadel Capital is considering listing shares of its energy distribution subsidiary Taqa Arabia on Egypt's stock exchange, its managing director said.

Egypt has largely shrugged off global financial turmoil and the Dubai debt crisis, standing out as a safe haven for investors eyeing the Middle East.

"I think there's a strong appetite for emerging markets. And within emerging markets, Egypt has a good track record... and a fairly liquid stock market," Marwan Elaraby, Citadel's managing director said in an interview.

"The likely use of proceeds will be for capital intensive businesses that the company is interested in getting into such as power generation or acquisitions, but there is not a need to raise capital at this point in time."

Citadel Capital, which manages $8.3 billion (Dh30.46bn) in investments, has said it is looking to expand its investments in Middle Eastern and East African countries, especially those with big domestic markets in commodities, such as Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Elaraby said Taqa Arabia's IPO was likely to take place either during the second quarter of 2010 or after the holy month Ramadan ends in September. "We think this is a 2010 IPO but the exact timing and size will be discussed with our financial advisors," he said.

Taqa Arabia operates in Egypt, the UAE, Qatar, Libya, Jordan and Syria.

The firm posted a 30 per cent increase in net profit in 2009 to almost E£90 million (Dh60.66m) compared with E£68.5m in 2008, said Elaraby, expecting a similar growth rate in 2010.

"It appears that there's stability, if not a rally on (Egypt's) stock market, and I think there will be demand for this type of industry which doesn't have a match on the exchange," he said.

 

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