Press release

First signs of IPOs in the UAE since market recovery and strong IPO activity in the GCC in terms of volume in Q2 2014

August 13, 2014 - The initial public offering (“IPO”) market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) in the second quarter (“Q2”) of 2014 started off and ended on a high, with a total of seven IPOs, compared to two in Q1 2014. The quarter witnessed its first IPO in April with the UAE based company, Emirates REIT (CEIC) Limited, listing on NASDAQ Dubai Limited and raising USD 201 million. Also in April, Marka PJSC, a UAE based company, listed on the Dubai Financial Market (the “DFM”) raising USD 77 million.

The Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange, Tadawul, witnessed three IPOs in Q2 2014 by Umm Al Qura Cement Company, Abdulmohsen AlHokair Group for Tourism and Development Co and Al Hammadi Company for Development and Investment raising USD 73 million, USD 220 million and USD 168 million, respectively. In Oman, there were two power company listings, Al Suwadi Power Company SAOG and Al Batinah Power Co SAOG, raising USD 84 million and 78 million, respectively.

The total value of the seven IPOs in Q2 2014 was USD 902 million, a slight decrease of 5% compared to Q1 2014, although this is a considerable increase compared to the same quarter last year where a total of three IPOs raised 48 million.  

Looking at IPO performance for the first half (“H1”) of 2014, there were a total of nine IPOs raising USD 1,855 million, compared to a total of five IPOs raising USD 385 million in H1 2013, an 80% increase in volume and 381% increase in value.

IPO performance and activity in H1 2014 and the positive responses from investors is a testament to the recovery of confidence in the market by both issuers and investors.  The outlook for IPOs in the GCC appears to be strong particularly looking towards the latter part of 2014 and into 2015.

On the cross border front, the trend seems to continue with regional companies looking to list on international markets. However, Q2 2014 proved to be challenging as we saw several companies postponing their planned IPOs despite the recovery in markets.

Steve Drake, Head of PwC’s Capital Markets in the Middle East region said: “Equity capital markets performance in the region in the H1 2014 improved considerably with a total of nine listings, of which two were on the UAE stock exchanges which shows signs of recovery in that market. However the average offering value is still relatively modest albeit it has improved compared to the previous year. Looking ahead, the remainder of 2014 looks very strong and we would expect to see this continue into 2015. ”

The European IPO market is enjoying buoyant conditions driven by rising market confidence and demand for new shares as investors seem relieved that the Eurozone crisis has dwindled. Both in terms of number of transactions and money raised European IPO activity for Q2 2014 (USD 32.7 billion from 106 IPOs) strongly outperformed Q2 2013 (USD 7.0 billion from 38 IPOs). Eleven of the quarter’s twenty largest IPOs were executed in Europe. Although the IPO activity was spread across the continent, London Stock Exchange remained the leading European exchange with three out of the top ten European IPOs in both Q2 2014 and H1 2014 listing in London.

Overall, the UK IPO market saw 72 IPOs in H1 2014, raising a combined total of USD 22.7 billion. The Spanish IPO market continued its Q1 2014 uptick with flotations such as the real estate company Merlin Properties raising USD 1.7 billion in June. Other significant European IPOs include the European stock exchange operator Euronext raising USD 1.1 billion on Euronext Amsterdam, Euronext Brussels and Euronext Paris in June. Similar to the situation in the US, PE-backed IPOs made a robust contribution to European IPO activity in the first half of 2014, accounting for 35% of the total number of deals and 53% of the total amount of money raised.

The GCC debt capital markets in 2014 had an active second quarter, particularly in corporate bonds and sukuk, with large size deals that received a positive response from investors which was demonstrated by the tight yields achieved.

UAE corporate bond issuances were dominant this quarter, where we saw sizable issuances from DP World Limited, issuing a USD 1 billion 10 year bond, and Etisalat issuing two USD 500 million bonds in five and ten year tranches and two USD 1.6 billion bonds in seven and twelve year tranches. Other noteworthy issuances include Commercial Bank of Qatar issuing a USD 750 million bond and the Bahrain based, Gulf International Bank B.S.C, issuing a USD 533 million bond. On the sovereign front, Central Bank of Kuwait issued a USD 35 million treasury bond and nine tranches of USD 177 million treasury bonds amounting to USD 1.6 billion. Also in Q2 2014, the Qatar Central Bank issued three government bonds amounting to USD 261 million, USD 577 million and USD 261 million. 

The sukuk market in the GCC saw corporate issuances from Saudi Electricity Global Sukuk Co.3 issuing a USD 1 billion and USD 1.5 billion sukuk maturing in 30 and 10 years, respectively. Also the UAE based Emaar Malls Group, issued a USD 750 million sukuk maturing in 10 years. On the sovereign front, the Central Bank of Bahrain issued three tranches of a USD 53 million sukuk and three tranches of a USD 95 million sukuk.

Steve Drake said: “DCM in the GCC has grown and continues to grow as demand for debt remains strong. In Q2 2014, we saw sizable issuances, many of which were oversubscribed. The debt market in the region is expected to continue to flourish due to factors such as government spending, development of new projects and macroeconomic conditions, to name a few. However, there still remains an element of risk or uncertainty in the region as a result of the political unrest in the Middle East, which can contribute to the risk premiums seen on regional issuances.”


Notes to editors:

1. About Capital Markets Watch GCC
Capital Markets Watch GCC surveys conventional bond and Islamic issuance and new primary market equity IPOs on GCC’s principal stock markets and market segments (including exchanges in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) on a quarterly basis. This survey was conducted between 20 June 2014 and 30 June 2014 and captures the relevant data based on their transaction date. Capital Markets Watch GCC is prepared by PwC Middle East ( All market data is sourced from publically available information and has not been independently verified by PwC.

2. About IPO Watch Europe
IPO Watch Europe surveys all new primary market equity IPOs on Europe’s principal stock markets and market segments (including exchanges in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) on a quarterly basis. Movements between markets on the same exchange and greenshoe offerings are excluded. IPO Watch Europe is prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ( a limited liability partnership incorporated in England. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited. All market data is sourced from the stock markets themselves and has not been independently verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
IPO Watch Europe Surveys and annual reviews are available at:

3. About the PwCs’ Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services Team in the Middle East
The Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services Team in the Middle East is part of the PwC’s global network of capital markets specialists who provide a broad range of advisory services to companies and investment banks in connection with capital market transactions. These include preparations for becoming a public company, selecting the right market and advisory team, assisting with reviewing accounting policies and GAAP conversion projects, advising on regulatory issues and undertaking financial and business due diligence investigations.

4. About PwC
PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 184,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at

Established in the Middle East for 40 years, PwC has firms in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, the Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with over 2,700 people. (
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