Saudi Arabia Expects to See More IPOs Than Ever in 2021 Amid Strong Demand

The Saudi stock exchange expects to host more initial public offerings than ever in 2021, seizing on strong demand from local investors that supported several deals last year, Arabian Business reported.

After 22 issuances across different platforms in 2020, “I think we will break that record this year,” Khalid Abdullah Al-Hussan, the CEO of the Tadawul exchange, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.

Four companies went public last year on the main market of the Saudi exchange, raising a combined $1.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That was more than the $1.3 billion worth of IPOs in Germany, though far behind the listing of oil giant Saudi Aramco in 2019.

“We have a very very healthy pipeline in all our platforms, and there is a good focus on Nomu and the main market,” Al-Hussan said, referring to the parallel market for smaller listings in Riyadh. “So we see a good pipeline – even better than 2020.”

The exchange is currently reviewing cross-listings from companies based in other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, what Al-Hussan, pictured below, described as “another good channel for new IPOs”.

He added that a clearing house started last year is expected to handle both equities and fixed-income assets starting in the second half of this year.

He also said retail participation in the stock market is expected to remain strong, after being “very active in 2020, during Covid-19”.

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