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Saudi Arabia dominates Mena Q1 public listings

Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, CEO of MBC Group, which raised $222 million with its IPO MBC Group
Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, chairman of MBC Group, on its first day of trading in January; MBC raised $222 million with its IPO
  • Nine Saudi companies listed
  • Modern Mills Company tops IPOs
  • ‘Healthy pipeline’, says Saudi Exchange

Saudi Arabia dominated public listings in the region in the first quarter of the year and maintains a “healthy pipeline” of IPOs for the remainder of 2024.

Nine companies were brought to market in Saudi Arabia during the opening three months, according to the latest report from global consultants EY.

The kingdom’s largest, and the region’s second-largest, IPO was raised by Modern Mills Company at $724 million, accounting for more than 27 percent of the overall proceeds.

This was followed by MBC Group ($222 million) and Middle East Pharmaceutical Industries Company ($131 million). 

All three IPOs were listed on the Tadawul main market. The remaining six listings took place on the Nomu, the parallel market, with total proceeds of $57 million.

In total, 21 IPOs from the kingdom have been announced for this year.

“We can see a very healthy pipeline of IPOs, not just only small and large, but different sectors and in different cycles of their journey from being private to being public,” said Mohammed Al-Rumaih, CEO of Saudi Exchange.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabian fintech Rasan announced plans to sell a 30 percent stake in the company through an IPO. 

Smasco, the Saudi Manpower Solutions Company, is expected to raise between SAR840 million and SAR900 million ($224 million to $240 million) from its IPO after setting an indicative price range of SAR7 to SAR7.50 per share.

Saudi Arabian water and wastewater infrastructure company, Miahona, and Panda Retail Company have also announced plans to list. Last month the Saudi Exchange welcomed its 400th listing across all securities. 

Saleh Al-Khabti, deputy minister for investment development at the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia, told the Capital Markets Forum 2024 in Hong Kong this week that foreign investor ownership in the Saudi Capital Market is almost $95 billion, a fourfold increase over the past five years.

In the UAE, Parkin Company PJSC raised the highest proceeds in the region in Q1 2024 with $400 million on Dubai Financial Market (DFM), contributing 37.2 percent of the total IPO value.

In terms of Mena stock exchange performance, the Egyptian Exchange emerged at the top with an 8 percent gain during Q1 2024, followed by Boursa Kuwait Premier Market (7.5 percent) and DFM (4.6 percent). 

At the end of the quarter, eight out of the 10 Mena IPOs had a positive return compared to their IPO price, with MBC Group achieving the highest gain of 128 percent.

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