RIYADH: Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Co., owner of the Kingdom’s bourse, has posted a 23 percent drop in the first half profit amid a record year of initial public offerings.
The group made SR278 million ($74 million) in profit during the first half of 2022, down from SR362 million in the same period last year, it said in a bourse filing.
This was coupled with an 8.3 percent decline in revenue to SR592 million, mainly due to the decrease in trading services and post-trade services.
Higher salaries and employee-related benefits further weighed on profit during the six-month period, leading to a rise of 9.8 percent in expenses to SR301 million.
“One of the risks of becoming a public company is that salaries rise,” Fawaz Al-Fawaz, a Saudi-based independent economist and columnist, told Arab News.
This is what economists call the “agency problem” — when the managers become more important than the owners, using their position to convince a “tolerant” board of directors that their roles have suddenly become more important,” Al-Fawaz added.
The chairman of the Capital Market Authority, Mohammed Elkuwaiz, had earlier told Arab News that Saudi IPOs are on course for a record year, adding that the number of listings in the first half of 2022 has already surpassed those of last year.
Commenting on the results, CEO Khalid Al-Hussan said: “Testament to the avid growth and diversification of our market and its attractiveness is the growing number of IPOs during the first half of the year, resulting in 246 listed companies on both the main market and Nomu — the parallel market.”
Tadawul also launched single stock futures contracts earlier this year as its second derivatives product.