Press release

GCC markets fall in Q2 2013 with a 90% drop in average offering value compared to Q1

Dubai – 09 July 2013: Depressed Initial Public Offering (“IPO”) activity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) continued into the second quarter (“Q2”) of 2013 with three new listings raising a total of only USD 48 million. This compared to two IPOs in Q1 2013 raising an aggregate of USD 337 million, representing an 86% decrease in total value raised. The average offering value dropped 94% this quarter compared to the same quarter last year where we witnessed four IPOs raising a total of USD 1.1 billion. The total value raised in Q2 2012 was the result of a stronger performance in the Saudi market, where out of the total four IPOs, three were Saudi based. Whilst the value of offerings significantly dropped this quarter, the number of offerings remained relatively stable at 3 IPOs.

The Muscat Securities Market (“MSM”) witnessed its first listing of the year with the USD 6 million IPO of Sharqiyah Desalination Company which, whilst a small offering in value terms, received a strong response in the aftermarket. The other IPOs in Q2 2013 comprised two Saudi based insurance companies namely Aljazira Takaful Taawuni Company and AIG-ANB Cooperative Insurance Company, both listed on the Tadawul with offering values of USD 28 million and USD 14 million, respectively.
The most prominent share offering during the quarter was that of the Abu Dhabi based Al Noor Hospitals Group, which listed 33% of its equity on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange (“LSE”), raising total proceeds of USD 342 million. Al Noor is the second health care service provider in Abu Dhabi to have opted for an international listing after NMC Health Plc, which raised USD 187 million in an IPO on the LSE in 2012.

Steve Drake, Head of PwC’s Capital Markets business in the Middle East region said: “Concerns looming over the economic slowdown in certain global markets and the elevated political instability in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East would appear to have dampened investor appetite and contributed to the low offering values we have seen this quarter. Until volatility in global equity markets and the political situation stabilises, regional equity markets are likely to remain subdued. However, we continue to see interest in companies looking to list within the next 12 to 18 months.”

In contrast, Europe’s IPO markets have continued to gain momentum in Q2, building on the successful start to the year, with USD 6.8 billion being raised, a 58% increase on the USD 4.3 billion raised in the first quarter of 2013. Over 81% of proceeds raised in Q2 was generated from the top 10 deals. Of note is the IPO of bpost, Belgium’s national postal service on Euronext and Platform Acquisition Holdings, the first major special purpose acquisition company to IPO in London since Vallares in Q2 2011. The post IPO performance of the PE-backed IPOs in 2013 has been encouraging, particularly in London where they have achieved significant gains on the IPO price since listing and have also outperformed the FTSE index over the period since IPO. Elsewhere in Europe, with the exception of Moleskine and Evonik, which are trading below their respective IPO prices, the majority of PE-backed IPOs have held their IPO price since listing and remain generally in line with the market.

The GCC bond market, similar to the previous quarter, saw significant issuances from the Kuwait Central Bank which raised a total of USD 6.7 billion from issuances of its treasury bills and long-term government bonds. The banking sector continued to dominate the corporate bond market with noteworthy issuances by both UAE and Qatar based banks. These included Emirates NBD’s USD 1 billion Tier one capital issue, another USD 1 billion issue by Qatar National Bank under its Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) program and issuances by National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Commercial Bank of Dubai which raised USD 465 million and USD 500 million each respectively.

After a quiet first quarter, the Saudi Sukuk market was seen to be one of the most active in Q2 2013 with sizeable Sukuk issuances on both the corporate and sovereign front. These included Sukuks issued by Islamic Development Bank raising total proceeds of USD 1 billion, Saudi Electricity Company and Sadara Chemicals Company each raising USD 2 billion. Another notable issuance during the quarter is Dana Gas PJSC’s Sukuk which raised USD 850 million and which was issued to refinance its existing debt.

Steven Drake said: “the start of the quarter proved stronger for debt issuances where we saw most of the money being raised. However, towards the end of the quarter market sentiment declined as the interest rate environment hardened causing some issuers to postpone their 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 2013 and 4 July 2013 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 158 countries with more than 180,000 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 around 2,700 people. (

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