Markets Dar Global shares rise on London debut amid lower volumes By Reuters March 1, 2023 Creative Commons/Grenavitar Dar Global's debut on the London Stock Exchange is a welcome sign for those hoping for a pick-up in public offerings after war in Ukraine and soaring interest rates brought the market almost to a halt last year Shares in property developer Dar Global rose in a sluggish market debut on Tuesday, making this London’s first significant float since Ithaca Energy’s initial public offering (IPO) late last year. The stock opened at $3.55, up from the $3.33 paid by investors ahead of the float. By the close of trade, 27,500 shares had changed hands, according to Refinitiv data. The shares were indicated at a closing mid price of $3.60, marking an eight percent rise on the pre-float price. The trading volumes were much lower than those on Ithaca’s market debut in November. They were also well below those after Wise’s direct listing in 2021, which saw over 60 million shares change hands on the day it went public. However, both Ithaca and Wise had larger market capitalisations upon admission to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) than Dar Global, which has a market value of roughly $600 million, based on Tuesday’s share price. Dar Global, the international arm of Saudi Arabia’s Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company, announced last week that it had raised $72 million from investors in a private placement, with a view to listing directly on the LSE. In a conventional IPO, investment banks market and sell shares on the company’s behalf and commit to mop up any stock that investors fail to pick up in exchange for a fee. Direct listings are less common but can offer a cheaper route to market for companies by cutting back on intermediaries. Dar Global’s debut is a welcome sign for those hoping for a pick-up in public offerings after war in Ukraine and soaring interest rates brought the market almost to a halt last year. By November 2022, proceeds raised in London IPOs had plummeted to just £1 billion ($1.21 billion) over the course of the year, from 14.3 billion pounds in 2021, in what research consultancy KPMG described as a “drought” in listing activity.