Mada’in IPO this year



Local stock markets are bracing for almost Dh9 billion worth of initial public offerings in 2008 including IPOs from developer Mada’in and Emirates Post, Emirates Business has learned.

Dubai-based Mada’in Properties plans to launch an initial public offering by year-end, a top company official said. “We are planning to go for an IPO as soon as we fulfill all the requirements and that should happen by end of the year,” Abdulaziz Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer, Mada’in Properties, told Emirates Business.

And Emirates Post Holding Group President Abdulla Al Daboos said an IPO will be launched during this year, but no decision has been taken on the size.

“We are still waiting for the clearance from the government and we are yet to decide on size of the IPO. We will hurry up the process once we get the permission,” he said.

Mada’in Properties was incorporated in 2006 as a private joint-stock company in Dubai with a paid-up share capital of Dh500 million. Prominent shareholders of the Shariah-compliant real estate investment and development company include Ahmed Ramadan Juma Group, a UAE-based trading and engineering services conglomerate, Kuwait-based Gulf Investment House (GIH) and other GCC investors.

“We have identified the UAE as a key growth area for us. However, we are looking for opportunities and will expand to other Gulf Co-operation Council countries only in 2009,” Al Awar said. The UAE’s market regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), has said new issues worth more than Dh8.5bn will be floated on the stock markets this year.

About 12 to 14 new companies will be listed, with the SCA receiving applications from six private shareholding companies seeking public conversion with a total paid-up capital of Dh15.4bn.

Property developers and allied businesses in real estate activities have showed keen interest in going public. Abu Dhabi-based Al Qudra Holding, which put on hold its IPO in March, is planning to raise as much as $1.2bn in an IPO after a new companies law is passed, Mahmood Ibrahim Al Mahmood, Chief Executive officer of Al Qudra said recently. Depa Limited, a Dubai-based interiors contractor, is aiming to raise $500m through a public listing by April-end, while Mawarid Finance, a Shariah-compliant financial services provider, has completed preparations for going public.

The UAE is likely to allow foreigners to own as much as 75 per cent of a company after a new company law is passed, Al Mahmood, who is also a member of the SCA board, had said.

“It is a good time for real estate companies to enter the market, but all depends on their strategy and how they are going to make use of those funds,” said Robert A McKinnon, managing director , equity research, Al Mal Capital.

The company is bullish on the UAE realty market for the next two years, he added.