Posted on August 31, 2015

Experts from the region had claimed at the start of this year that 2015 will see increased stock market activity in terms of public issuances following the 27 IPOs that raised US$11.5 billion in 2014, the best performance recorded since the financial crisis. Government efforts in easing regulations and policies related to listings coupled with increased cross-sector spending to encourage economic diversification, the corollary of which was a rise in investor confidence, have been impacted due to the oil price volatility in recent times.

According to Dr. Obaid S. Al Zaabi, DCEO Listing, Disclosure & Legal, Securities and Commodities Authority and Chairman of the Arab IPO Summit, “In order to ensure long-term financing in regional markets, it is imperative for the market to achieve the balance between conventional investors and IPOs as an ultimate source to raise capital. The UAE has already made significant progress in line with this approach with financial market regulators initiating significant developments recently to promote the local IPO markets and support its growth.”

Dr. Al Zaabi added, “The new Commercial Companies Law for instance, contains several new developments that cover public offerings of securities, reduces the minimum free float for companies going public from 55% to just 30%, and reducing the timeframes for subscription and allotment of shares. I look forward to the discussions at the IPO summit this year and sharing our experience in the UAE in order to shape this crucial debate concerning Arab Capital markets.”

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Rashid Al Mansoori, CEO and Board Member, Qatar Stock Exchange said, “The GCC has historically witnessed fewer IPOs than other notable markets. As we all look to diversify our economies, developing our relatively young capital markets and providing more financing opportunities for capital-hungry companies is important. We hope discussions at the Arab IPO Summit will contribute to this debate and lead to increased understanding of the challenges and solutions in this area.”

The Arab IPO Summit is set to be held from 14 to 17 September 2015 at Taj Dubai Hotel in Dubai, and is being organised by UMS International. Strategic Partners for the summit include Securities & Commodities Authority, UAE, Dubai Financial Market, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Muscat Securities Market, Union of Arab Securities Authorities, Qatar Stock Exchange, The Egyptian Exchange and Bahrain Bourse. “IPO activity in H1 2015 was driven by the IPO of several companies from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We are likely to see several companies re-initiating or executing IPO plans in H2 2015, driven by increased market confidence and regulatory reform,” said Mayur Pau, MENA IPO leader, Ernst & Young, MENA.

The Summit will bring together financial experts, senior executives and key decision makers from various regional capital markets, stock exchanges, investment banks and top companies to discuss the latest trends in the region and regulations on listings for issuers. Confirmed speakers at the Summit include: Dr. Mounther Barakat, Senior Advisor, SCA - UAE, Fahima Al Bastaki, SVP, Head of Business Development Division, DFM – UAE, Adil Taqi, CFO, Damac Group – UAE, Dr. R Seetharaman, Group CEO, Doha Bank – Qatar, Ali Al Hashimi, EVP, Head of Financial Services Division, Borse Dubai – UAE, and Rashed Al Balooshi, CEO, ADX – UAE among others.

For more information about the Arab IPO Summit please visit or contact or call + +971 4 432 9467.