Complex Made Simple

Marka IPO signals new beginning for UAE IPO market

Jamal Al Hai, Executive Senior Vice-President of Dubai Airports and Chairman of the Founders Committee of Marka, a public joint stock company under incorporation, has said that Marka’s IPO signals a new beginning for the UAE IPO market which has been going through an IPO drought for several years now as a result of the global financial crisis.

Al Hai added, “The feedback that we have been getting since announcing that we are in the process of receiving regulatory approvals for establishing Marka as a public joint stock company demonstrates the notable appetite in the market for IPOs, where prominent investors have rushed to express their desire to join the Founders, and we have seen significant interest from institutional and individual investors.”

It is noteworthy that Marka, which is scheduled to list its shares on the Dubai Financial Market, will be the first public shareholding company in the UAE’s retail sector to get listed besides being the first IPO on the Dubai Financial Market in several years.

Al Hai explained, “Marka’s establishment and share listing comes at the perfect time as the UAE’s economy is witnessing a strong recovery, which is different from past recoveries as it is fuelled by strong growth in several fundamental sectors of the economy, notably trade, tourism, services, aviation and financial sectors. This has, in turn, raised foreign and local investor confidence in the growth potential of the local economy to unprecedented levels. Besides, the UAE stock markets have seen a massive surge, ranking them among the world’s fastest growing financial markets in 2013, and are expected to record a similar performance during the current year.”

Jamal Al Hai pointed out that Marka’s Founders Committee has stepped up its efforts to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to complete the IPO procedures. The company’s Founders Committee consists of five well-known personalities, namely: Jamal Al Hai, Executive Senior Vice-President of Dubai Airports (Chairman); Khaled Almheiri, CEO and Founder of Evolvence Capital (Vice-Chairman); Abu Baker Al Khouri, Chairman of Aldar Properties; Jamal Al Shaafar, CEO, Al Masood Group; and Hamad Al Shamsi, CEO of Private Investment.

CAPM Investment, Marka’s financial advisor and lead manager of its IPO, announced a few days ago that Marka had begun receiving equity contributions of its founders soon after it received preliminary approval from the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) in the UAE. It is planned that the founders will subscribe to 45% of the company’s equity, or the equivalent of Dhs225m (225 million shares), while the remaining 55% equity (275 million shares) will be offered to the public in an IPO.

Marka’s founders are an elite group of UAE nationals, including VIPs, businessmen and investors, along with a select group of non-local investors, who possess significant knowledge and experience in the areas of investment and business. This is reflected in the members of the Founders Committee, who will contribute with their expertise in the development of a strong foundation for the establishment and growth of the company.

Marka will focus on the introduction of new concepts within the retail and food and beverage (restaurants and cafés) sectors, which witness growing activity on the local and regional levels, where both sectors benefits from the record growth in the number of tourists, as well as the growing demand from citizens and residents.

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Lucy Vicente
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New Perspective Media
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