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21 February 2024

Saudi Atheeb IPO oversubscribed

By Reuters

A 300 million riyal (Dh293m) initial public offering by Saudi Arabia's Etihad Atheeb Telecommunications was about 2.5 times oversubscribed, the lead manager said yesterday.

Investors offered 1.06 billion riyals in the IPO that closed on Monday, Saudi Hollandi Capital said.

Etihad Atheeb, one of three firms licensed to operate new fixed-line networks, offered to Saudi investors 30 million shares, representing 30 per cent of its capital, at 10 riyals each.

The IPO was Saudi Arabia's first since August after bourse regulators froze fresh listings amid jitters that hit local and global markets.

Several Saudi firms, including fast-food chain Herfy, soft-drinks maker Aujan and steel maker Al Ittefaq Steel Products, have had to postpone plans to sell shares to the public.

The global crisis added to the woes of the Saudi bourse, which has not been able to recover fully from a 2006 crash. The largest Arab bourse lost more than half of its value in 2008 and fell 75 per cent from a lifetime peak in 2006.

Etihad Atheeb's share sale follows government rules on companies licensed to operate fixed-line networks.