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Saudi property firm plans first post-virus Riyadh IPO

Riyadh

SAUDI Arabian real estate financing firm Amlak International said on Sunday it will float 30 per cent of its shares in Riyadh, in what will be the exchange's first initial public offering (IPO) since the coronavirus crisis.

The kingdom is encouraging more Saudi companies to list in a bid to deepen its capital markets as part of economic reforms aimed at reducing its reliance on oil revenues.

Amlak, which has assets of around 3.1 billion riyals (S$1.15 billion), said the final offer price would be announced on June 30 after a book-building process starting on June 22.

“Being a publicly-listed company will give us more visibility among our clients, will help us build our business and will also help reduce our cost of capital and boost profitability considerably,” said Amlak chief executive Abdullah Al Sudairy.

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Saudi Arabia’s NCB Capital is the sole financial adviser, bookrunner, underwriter and lead manager for the deal, which will have tranches for retail and institutional investors.

Major shareholders, which include the Saudi Investment Bank and Amlak Finance, a Dubai-based Islamic mortgage company, will be subject to a six month lock-up period.

“Driven by population growth and supportive government policy, housing demand in the kingdom is expected to increase 188,000 units per year until 2021, increasing to 203,000 per year from 2022 to 2025, and to 219,000 per year from 2026 to 2029,” Amlak said in a statement.

Saudi retailer BinDawood Holding also plans to launch an IPO as early as this month, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

The group, which controls supermarket chains Bindawood and Danube in the kingdom, last year hired Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, NCB Capital and GIB to organise the deal, the sources said, with Moelis & Co acting as a financial adviser. REUTERS

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