DFM and NASDAQ Dubai discusses the role of listings in diversifying investment opportunities and achieving sustainable growth. 

Essa Kazim, Chairman, Dubai Financial Market: “The favourable market environment is likely to see IPO backlog of recent years flooding on to the market.”

Essa Kazim, Chairman, Dubai Financial Market: “The favourable market environment is likely to see IPO backlog of recent years flooding on to the market.”

THE IPO sector in the UAE is on the verge of a new era of thriving activities and rekindled investor interest, finance managers have been told.

The executives were attending an IPO forum organised recently by the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and NASDAQ Dubai, dubbed, Going Public: Readiness, Timing and Attractiveness.

The event brought together 80 senior officials from 53 companies including chairmen, board members and CEOs of UAE listed companies and private and family businesses as well as numerous experts from IPO advisory companies.

In an online survey conducted by DFM through its website in November 2013, 76% of the surveyed investors said they are ready to participate in IPOs within the next 12 months and the majority of them are mainly interested in IPOs of government companies and private and family businesses.

Key traditional sectors

The survey sample comprised 1,033 retail and institutional investors. Hotel and Tourism and Retail came at the forefront of sectors investors would like to see represented in the market through IPOs, in addition to the key traditional sectors including Real Estate and Construction and Banking.

The IPO Forum provided a unique opportunity to listen to invaluable ideas from speakers and panelists on various IPO-related topics including: market dynamics and the regulatory environment; UAE regulatory changes creating opportunities for companies; investor sentiment; capital market experts’ roadmap to listing successful IPOs; and key learnings shared by listed companies.

The DFM IPO investor sentiment survey revealed that the top three factors investors pay attention to when taking the decision to participate in an IPO are: company financials, founders and management, and brand awareness. Retail investors put more emphasis on the media presence of the company while institutional investors ranked expert advice more highly.

During the forum some of the listed companies on DFM and NASDAQ Dubai, including Air Arabia and DP World, shed light on their successful  experience in going public, in addition to discussing the latest regulatory developments with the participation of experts from the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

Playing a pivotal role

Essa Kazim, Chairman, Dubai Financial Market (PJSC) said: “Dubai Financial Market is working unstintingly to encourage private and family businesses to list on DFM and NASDAQ Dubai,  leading to diversifying investment opportunities and enabling investors to gain from the high growth of various sectors of the national economy.”

“The organisation of this forum stems from DFM’s firm commitment to instigating and enriching the discussions amongst market participants on various issues and demonstrating the role of capital markets in supporting businesses to achieve sustainable growth. We believe that the current environment is truly excellent and favourableto seeing an IPO backlog of recent years flooding on to the market.”

“This will allow private and family groups to gain the benefits of going public as DFM records remarkable growth with its general index advancing more than 70% since the beginning of this year, leading the best performing exchanges globally, as well as the buoyant performance of various economic sectors and investors’ great interest in participating in any potential IPOs during the coming period.”

“Over the past years, DFM has always been committed to playing a pivotal role in supporting private and family groups to further understand the requirements of going public through organising similar forums, publication of guides thoroughly explaining the pre-, during, and post-IPO stages as well as constant dialogue with company owners and  senior executives.”

“Our ultimate goal is to help these groups to utilise the capital markets as part of their growth strategy on one hand, and obtain the best representation of the national economy on the market by attracting companies from dynamic sectors including, tourism, retail, health and education on the other hand,” Mr Kazim added.