GCC Capital Markets Watch - Q3 2023

Q3 2023 Overview


As is typically the case in Q3, IPO activity was quieter relative to other quarters with a total of 6 IPOs raising $419 million (Q3 2022: 7 IPOs raised $2.0 billion). Five of the Q3 listings were in KSA raising a total of $330 million with one IPO in Qatar raising $89 million. 

Nomu, Tadawul’s parallel equity market with lighter listing requirements typically attracting small cap issuers, continued to see IPO activity this quarter accounting for four of the five IPOs in KSA.

Issuer Listing Date IPO Proceeds (USD millions) Sector Exchange
Lumi Rental Co. 25-Sep-23 290.4 Consumer Markets

Tadawul - Main Market

MEEZA QSTP 23-Aug-23 89.1 Technology, Media and Telecom QSE
Professional Medical Expertise Co 26-Jul-23 19.1 Health Industries Tadawul - Nomu
Marble Design Co. 8-Aug-23 8.9 Industrials, Manufacturing and Automobile Tadawul - Nomu
Munawla Cargo Co. 11-Sep-23 5.8 Consumer Markets Tadawul - Nomu
Dar Almarkabah for Renting Cars Co 29-Aug-23 5.3 Consumer Markets Tadawul - Nomu

Recent years have been distorted to a certain extent with the world’s largest ever IPO of Saudi Aramco in 2019 and the post COVID-19 IPO frenzy of 2022, however, the longer term trend in GCC equity markets is clear with full year 2023 proceeds on track to exceed the $8 billion raised in 2021.

Debt issuance

In contrast to equity markets, GCC debt markets have been relatively active in Q3, particularly in the UAE. Nasdaq Dubai was the most active exchange with six sukuk issuances, including; IDB Trust Services Limited, DP World Crescent Limited, UAE Federal Government Sukuk Programme Ltd and Sharjah Sukuk Programme Limited among others, with a combined value of $4.3 billion.

There were also a number of notable bond issuances on Nasdaq Dubai including; Bank of China (Dubai Branch), Bank of China Limited (Luxembourg Branch) and the Federal Government of United Arab Emirates raising a total value of $2.3 billion.


The GCC pipeline remains healthy as a number of companies have been busy preparing for either a Q4 or 2024 IPO throughout the summer period.

The IPOs of Ades Holding Co. and OQ Gas have already been announced on Tadawul and Muscat Securities Market respectively, both pricing at the top end of their respective price ranges. Ades Holding Co. listed on 11 October raising $1.2 billion and OQ Gas listed on 24 October raising $750 million.

Tadawul has also announced 3 upcoming IPOs that will close in October, with more expected in the following months.

Exchange performance

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM), Tadawul and Bahrain All Share Index (BAX) have posted gains since the start of 2023 with the DFM ending Q3 25% higher than the start of the year. The DFM gains can be attributed to a number of financial services stocks in addition to post IPO valuation uplifts for recent IPO candidates such as Salik and Empower.

In contrast, the Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX30), Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), Qatar Exchange All Share Index (QSI) and Premier Market Index - Kuwait (BKP) ended the quarter down approximately 5% from 1 January 2023.

GCC equity markets performance by cumulative total return since 1 Jan 2023

GCC equity markets performance by cumulative total return since 1 January 2023

Source: Eikon (Thomson Reuter), PwC Analysis

Post IPO performance

With the exception of Financial Services, IPOs from 2021 to 2023 YTD across all sectors have seen an increase in share price relative to the index performance of their respective exchanges.

The Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector has delivered far superior performance as compared to other sectors, whereas post-IPO performance of companies in the Industrials, Manufacturing and Automobile sector has been lackluster.

Post IPO share price performance of all GCC IPOs* since 2021 by sector, relative to the respective index performance from the IPO date to 30 September 2023

Source: Eikon (Thomson Reuter), PwC Analysis

*The IPOs of Al Mal Capital REIT and Oman reinsurance have been excluded due to insufficient data.

The percentage figures shown in the chart above are the average share price movements of the newly listed companies under each sector relative to the index performance of the respective exchange.

GCC IPO activity available from 2015 - present, filtered by stock exchange

Stock Exchange


Stock Exchange
Deal value ($m)
Number of IPOs
Adjust the slider to select and view a date range of up to 12 quarters
IPO values by sector

Global highlights

First signs of thaw in the US and Europe, marked by a few successfully completed IPOs.

  • The US IPO market is showing promising signs with a number of notable IPOs pricing this quarter.
  • The European IPO market also saw several IPOs this quarter in Germany, France, Romania and the UK.

Mainland China has continued to lead the global IPO market with the highest IPO proceeds this quarter.

  • IPO activity in China in Q3 was largely attributable to the STAR market that provides access to public funding for home-grown technology companies.
  • Despite being the leading market this quarter, the effect of the slowdown in the Chinese economy has led to a decline in IPO proceeds by more than 50% in Q3 2023 ($12bn) compared to Q3 2022 ($25bn).

Developments in the macroeconomic environment continue to shape the performance of the global equity markets.

  • The direction of travel of interest rates and inflation continue to drive equity markets. Despite the general market expectation that by the end of this quarter, central banks would be ending their respective interest rate hike campaigns, there is still uncertainty whether another interest rate hike will be required to control inflation amid labour market shortages and disruptions in the global supply chain.
  • Major global equity indices continue to trade in positive territory this year as central banks are aiming for the soft landing of the US and Eurozone economies.

Technology remained the dominant sector for IPO issuance globally, with the renewable energy sector also gaining momentum.

  • South Korea raised almost 70% of its IPO proceeds from semiconductor and technology companies. The US and Japanese stock exchanges have also seen a buzz around AI technology companies this quarter. The emergence of AI focused companies will give a further boost to tech sector IPOs.
  • Some of the largest IPOs in Europe, including Romania, Germany, France and Turkey, were from the renewable energy sector.

The functioning secondary market in Europe points to investable cash being available for quality issuers.

  • The secondary issuance market showed resilience during this quarter in most developed economies, with robust volumes and relatively tight discounts signaling continued investor appetite for quality names, which is also a good precursor to a recovery of the IPO market.
  • The London Stock Exchange was the leading exchange for follow-on issuance in Europe in Q3 in terms of the number of transactions and proceeds raised.

Global IPO outlook

  • Looking ahead, IPO market activity will be heavily dependent on the stability of the macroeconomic environment as well as a positive track record of recent post-IPO performance.
  • Continued stabilisation of economic circumstances will support an increased optimism of renewed IPO markets through 2024. However, with the remaining uncertainties, this is more likely to be measured and perhaps weighted more towards later in 2024.


Global IPO activity
Top countries by % of total IPO proceeds raised in 2022

How PwC can help you

At PwC, we understand that good preparation is essential to a successful IPO and debt issuance. We have experience in a wide range of international, regional and domestic IPOs and debt issuances, and can provide expert guidance from initial planning, through to execution and beyond.

IPO and debt preparation

Our IPO and debt Readiness Assessment is an early stage diagnostic review of the critical areas needed for a successful issuance. We highlight where current processes, procedures, structures and practices fall short of the requirements for a company whose securities are to be publicly traded and provide recommendations on how to address these gaps. Our assessment can be tailored to include these aspects as well as some broader areas such as business continuity and contingency planning.

IPO and debt execution

We work with issuers and their advisors to provide IPO and debt advisory and assurance services. This may include working capital reporting, financial due diligence, financial positions and prospects procedures assessment, assistance with MD&A drafting in relation to a prospectus, comfort letters and project management.


Muhammad Hassan

Capital Markets Leader, PwC Middle East

Danny Barclay

Director, Capital Markets, PwC Middle East

Gautam Vaidya

Senior Associate, Capital Markets, PwC Middle East

Contact us

Abdelkhaleq Ahmad

Abdelkhaleq Ahmad

Consulting COO and Management Consulting co-Lead Partner, PwC Middle East

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Muhammad Hassan

Muhammad Hassan

Capital Markets Leader, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 4 3043443

Danny Barclay

Danny Barclay

Capital Market Director, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 50 129 1462

Blaise Jenner

Blaise Jenner

ME IPO structuring Leader, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 4 304 3067

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