Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Middle East stock markets set to continue strong run of IPOs

People, Person, Man Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser
Improving economic conditions in Saudi Arabia are driving confidence for future business activity over the next 12 months
  • Forthcoming IPOs include Lulu Group, Dukhan Bank and Abraj Energy
  • Last year saw 143% increase in listings when compared to 2021

The stock markets in the Middle East and North Africa are preparing for a strong pipeline of initial public offerings (IPOs) in the coming months.

Bourses across the region are looking to build on the success of 2022 when it saw a record number of 51 IPOs and combined proceeds of $22 billion.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s gas business is among those planning listings this year, according to Reuters, and Lulu Group, the Abu Dhabi-headquartered supermarket chain, is also planning a listing on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

Dubai state-linked IPOs could include energy company Enoc and airport services provider Dnata after Dubai Financial Market saw listings during Q4 of school operator Taaleem Holdings and Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation, better known as Empower.

Dukhan Bank, Qatar’s fifth-largest bank, is planning to go public and list on the Doha stock exchange while Oman’s oil and gas drilling services firm Abraj Energy Services plans to list up to 49 percent of its shares on the Muscat stock exchange in March.

And Egypt’s government intends to unveil the plan for offering state-run companies on the Egyptian Exchange this year.

Last year witnessed a 143 percent increase in the number of listings when compared to the 21 announced in 2021, and a 179 percent hike in value, according to the EY Mena IPO Eye Q4 2022 report.

The strong run across the Mena region’s markets included 20 IPOs in Q4 that raised $7.3 billion in proceeds.

The number of IPOs was the highest of the year although Q2 marked the largest proceeds following the listing of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) on the Dubai Financial Market which raised a record $6.1 billion. 

Brad Watson, EY Mena strategy and transactions leader, said “interest and liquidity in the region is continuing to defy global trends with “a healthy IPO pipeline across the region against the backdrop of a challenging and volatile global economic environment.”

Globally, 2022 saw a 45 percent decrease in volume and 61 percent decrease in value year-on-year, with the strongest downward trend observed in the Americas.

However, while the Mena region bucked the trend, equity performance experienced volatility throughout 2022 due to rising interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical unrest, which impacted investor sentiment. 

As a result, 24 out of the region’s 51 IPOs had a negative return compared to their IPO price by the end of the year.

Saudi Arabia continued to dominate listing activity in Q4 in the region with seven IPOs on the Tadawul main market, raising $4.7 billion, and six IPOs raising $65.2 million on the Nomu parallel market. 

Highlights included a first-time dual offering and concurrent IPO on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and the Tadawul by Americana Restaurants International. In total, the company offered 30 percent of the equity to raise $1.8 billion.

The fourth quarter of 2022 saw an increase in IPO activity across the wider Mena region with smaller listings in Oman, Morocco, and Tunisia. 

The IPO of Pearl Real Estate Investment Fund raised $60.7 million on the Muscat Stock Exchange, Akdital Holding raised $75.6 million on the Casablanca Stock Exchange and Assurances Maghrebia Vie raised $14.6 million on the Tunis Stock Exchange.

Despite a lower number of IPOs and trading volumes, the Egyptian Exchange outperformed the largest GCC markets in 2022 with an annual gain of 22.2 percent.

Gregory Hughes, EY Mena IPO and transaction diligence leader, said: “The region is coming together with the recent first-time regional dual listing and concurrent IPO of Americana Restaurants on ADX and Tadawul, and announced collaborations with regional and international exchanges, as well as a unified set of ESG disclosure metrics by the GCC Exchanges Committee. 

“The question remains whether the global economic outlook and lower GDP forecasts for the Mena region will impact expected listings despite the pipeline of large government-backed and private company IPOs.”

Latest articles

Turkey foreign property sales

Foreigners turning back on Turkish real estate

Foreign buyers are increasingly shunning the Turkish property market, wary of high prices, the expensive cost of living and a less welcoming environment for overseas real estate investors. There were only 2,064 residential units sold to foreign buyers in May, 35 percent down on the same month last year, data issued by the state statistics […]

Adult, Male, Man

UAE to invest in Turkey’s economic sectors says minister

The UAE is willing to invest across numerous sectors in Turkey, said Emirati energy and infrastructure minister Suhail Al Mazrouei. The Gulf state is exploring opportunities in the energy, agriculture, transportation, tourism and other sectors, state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) news agency reported, citing the minister on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. […]

Opec Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais says peak oil 'is not on the horizon'

Upstream oil and gas ‘needs more annual investment’

Annual capital expenditure for exploration and production in the upstream sector of the oil industry needs to increase by 22 percent by 2030 because of growing demand and cost inflation, experts say. A cumulative $4.3 trillion needs to be invested between 2025 and 2030, according to a report by the International Energy Forum (IEF) and […]

2KEY8G1 Emirates Airline Airbus A380 aircraft landing. Aerial view of Emirates Airlines A380-800 airplane. An Emirates plane coming in to land at LAX; a spokesperson for Emirates said the contraventions were for safety reasons

US fines Emirates for operating in prohibited airspace

Emirates has been fined $1.5 million by the US Transportation Department for operating flights carrying JetBlue Airways’ JBLU.O designator code in prohibited airspace. The transportation department said that between December 2021 and August 2022, Emirates operated a significant number of flights carrying the JetBlue Airways code between the United Arab Emirates and the United States […]