Emaar IPO set to turbocharge Dubai exchange

Emaar IPO set to turbocharge Dubai exchange
Mohamed Alabbar said the Emaar Development IPO would give people the opportunity ‘to invest in the future of Dubai.’ (Reuters)
Updated 02 November 2017

Emaar IPO set to turbocharge Dubai exchange

Emaar IPO set to turbocharge Dubai exchange

LONDON: After disclosing lacklustre third-quarter figures, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) will be glad of the fees windfall following this month’s initial public offering (IPO) of Emaar Development, part of the UAE’s largest listed company, Emaar Properties. The parent built Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
On Thursday, Emaar Development set the price range for the IPO, which goes live on Nov. 22, at between 5.70 dirhams ($1.55) and 6.90 dirhams per share — at the top end, that would value the firm at a whopping $7.5 billion, while raising as much as $1.5 billion.
The subscription process for institutional and retail investors runs until Nov. 15 and Nov. 13 respectively.
Listing fees, especially following an IPO, will doubtless be welcome bounty for DFM, especially if the float is part of a wider trend heralding a resurgence of IPOs in the region.
On Oct. 30 the DFM revealed net profit in the third quarter had slumped 22 percent to 27.7 million dirhams, while trading values were down 23 percent. During the first nine months of 2017, trading values were down less dramatically at 5 percent after a strong first quarter.
But with the knowledge that Emaar was on the way, DFM Chairman Essa Kazim said at the time: “Market activity has slowed in the second and third quarters. We look forward to further momentum during the coming period (and) plan to launch new services, the regulated short selling and futures platform in addition to anticipating new IPOs such as Emaar property development. These developments will collectively provide us with a solid foundation for stronger trading activity.”
The flotation will be the largest IPO on the Dubai market since Emaar raised $1.6 billion spinning off its malls unit in 2014. Emaar Properties plans to sell a 20 percent stake, or 800 million shares, in its real estate development business, less than expected after it had received shareholder approval to sell up to 30 percent of the unit.
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said on Thursday: “Emaar Development’s strategic decision to IPO provides both individual and institutional investors with the opportunity to invest in the future of Dubai as we continue to build iconic freehold master-planned communities.”
Alabbar said the firm’s projects include Dubai Creek Harbor, Emaar South, Arabian Ranches and Dubai Hills Estate.
Emaar Development said its financial profile was underpinned by Dubai’s transformation from a regional to a global destination.
The company aims to distribute aggregate dividends of no less than $1.7 billion during the next three financial years, with the first IPO dividend to be paid in the third quarter of 2018.
The IPO offers the opportunity for shareholders — including the UAE government — to unlock the true value of the development business, and will allow potential investors to invest in a pure-play property developer, said Emaar.