Abu Dhabi: At least eight companies are expected to list in Abu Dhabi this year, after Abu Dhabi’s major energy companies completed the world’s largest listing to date in 2023.
According to Sameh Al Qubaisi, director-general of economic affairs at the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, candidates for the IPO range from technology and media to asset management and companies in regenerative medicine.
“These are pretty big companies,” Al Qubaisi, who is also leading a 5 billion dirham ($1.36 billion) IPO fund to spur share sales in the UAE, said in an interview. “Some are high-growth companies that have only been around for five or six years, the disruptors.” Some plan to list 10% and 20% stakes, he said, declining to name them.
Other potential listings include family-owned businesses as well as local and international private sector companies. Al Qubaisi said that as the government seeks to diversify the local stock exchange, many companies operate in sectors not previously listed in Abu Dhabi.
This week, ADNOC raised $2.5 billion through the IPO of its gas business, continuing a trend of the Middle East being a bright spot for stock sales. Listed stocks in the Gulf region took in about $23 billion last year after soaring energy prices boosted regional stocks, as inflation concerns hit listings elsewhere” – more than half of Europe, Middle East and Africa’s gains. “.
Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence company G42 is considering at least six IPOs, including G42 Healthcare, Presight.AI and AIQ, a joint venture with UAE national energy company ADNOC, according to Bloomberg. The company took its Bayanat AI Plc unit public and raised $171 million in October.
A total of five IPOs in Abu Dhabi raised $5.37 billion last year, with state-linked entities dominating listings. Abu Dhabi Ports raised $1.09 billion, while Burjeel Holdings’ IPO raised $299.9 million. The emirate is using the listings to diversify its economy away from oil and deepen the local stock market.
Al Qubaisi said authorities were also encouraging family businesses to list companies from non-traditional industries to facilitate trading on exchanges. He urged family businesses to list companies that are vital to the UAE’s economy and protect them for future generations.
The government IPO fund is covering some of the IPO costs for some companies and is working closely with regulators to address companies in new industries, he said.