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UAE's Finablr extends IPO closing by a day to May 14 - sources

[ABU DHABI] United Arab Emirates-based payments and foreign exchange company Finablr has extended the closing of books for its initial public offering (IPO) to May 14 due to volatile market conditions, two sources familiar with the deal said on Monday.

The books were supposed to close on Monday for a London public offering, which will now close on Tuesday, they said.

The company, whose brands include UAE Exchange, Travelex Holdings and Xpress Money, has been seeking to raise US$200 million from the sale of new stock ahead of a flotation on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The listing of the shares is expected on Wednesday, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the information is not yet public.

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The move came after global stock markets tumbled on Monday as the trade dispute between the United States and China escalated.

In the UAE, where the company is based, both stock markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai suffered their biggest single-day declines in years due to escalating tensions in the Middle East after several commercial ships were attacked off the coast of the UAE.

"The closing of books is extended by a day because of market volatility. Finablr wanted to get the right register," one of the sources told Reuters.

Finablr's IPO plans were confirmed last month following the successful public flotation of Middle East payments firm Network International.

The Finablr network has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries and managed US$114.5 billion in annual volumes for its clients as of December. Its biggest markets are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

The holding company Finablr will become the umbrella for UAE-based business tycoon and founder Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty's financial service brands.

Shetty, Finablr's biggest shareholder, bought UK-based Travelex in January 2015 for 800 million pounds (S$1.51 billion). He took another company he founded, NMC Health, public on the LSE in 2012. Like NMC Health, Finablr will have its headquarters in the UAE.

JPMorgan, Barclays and Goldman Sachs are global coordinators for the deal. Bookrunners include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, EFG Hermes and Numis . Evercore is acting as financial adviser.

REUTERS