Abu Dhabi Ports said to con­sider IPO amid UAE list­ing spree

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Lon­don, UK - Abu Dhabi Ports Co is con­sid­er­ing an ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing (IPO), join­ing a grow­ing list of state en­ti­ties in the United Arab Emi­rates seek­ing to sell shares, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter.

The gov­ern­ment-run ports op­er­a­tor has met with in­vest­ment banks in re­cent weeks and may de­cide on fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors soon, the peo­ple said, ask­ing not to be iden­ti­fied.

The com­pany could raise at least US$1bn in a share sale on the lo­cal ex­change, one of the peo­ple said.

No fi­nal de­ci­sions have been taken, and the com­pany may de­cide against a list­ing, they said. A spokesman for Abu Dhabi Ports de­clined to com­ment.

Large state-owned com­pa­nies in the Gulf are turn­ing to eq­uity mar­kets to raise cash amid weak oil prices. Abu Dhabi Na­tional Oil Co se­lected un­der­writ­ers and ad­vi­sors for an IPO of its gas sta­tions unit, which may value the busi­ness at as much as US$14bn, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said last week. Emi­rates Global Alu­minium PJSC is also plan­ning to raise about US$3bn through a stock sale, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter have said.

They will join Saudi Ara­bia Oil Co, which is pre­par­ing what could be the largest-ever IPO as the king­dom takes steps to over­haul its econ­omy. These share sales would be a sig­nif­i­cant boost to IPOs in the re­gion, tra­di­tion­ally one of the small­est for list­ings.

Abu Dhabi Ports, founded in 2006, op­er­ates 11 ports and hosts an av­er­age of about 25,000 ships per year, ac­cord­ing to its web­site. Its flag­ship projects are the Khal­ifa Port and the Khal­ifa In­dus­trial Zone, known as Kizad.

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