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Thursday, June 16, 2022

Arabian Business - Dubai Ruler turns road toll operator Salik into a public joint stock company in ‘step towards IPO’

By Century Financial in Century in News

Arabian Business - Dubai Ruler turns road toll...

Vijay Valecha, Special to Arabian Business June 16, 2022

In his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has issued Law No (12) of 2022 establishing road toll operator Salik as a public joint stock company (PJSC).

As a public joint stock company, the firm will have legal, financial, and administrative autonomy to carry out its activities and achieve its objectives.

The chief investment officer at Century Financial, Vijay Valecha, said: “Salik’s conversion to a public joint stock company is a step forward in its journey toward an IPO. The decision of the government to permit up to 40 percent public shareholding gives it the option to monetize the assets at a good price when needed.

“The proposed IPO of Salik is part of a broader plan to list ten state entities to revive Dubai’s stock market. Even though global markets are volatile, GCC indices are having a stellar year on account of its biggest export, oil, trading at a higher price.”

According to the law, Salik Company PJSC will have a term of 99 years, starting from the date of its registration in the Trade Register. The term renews automatically for the same period as per the company’s articles of association.

The Dubai-headquartered company will also have the right to open branches and offices in Dubai and outside the emirate.

The law also states that the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai is authorised to outsource all or part of Salik’s functions related to the operation and management of toll gates, as per the concession contract signed between RTA and Salik.

The concession contract outlines the rights and obligations of each party, as well as the duration of the contract.

The CEO of Seven Capitals, Mohammed Shaheen, said: “Dubai is witnessing a huge leap in demand for Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), a reflection of the efforts in the country to strengthen its economy.

“This unprecedented demand for IPOs in the Dubai is fueled by investors’ confidence in the long-term economic growth, transformation plans, and shareholders’ appetite to attain listing gains.”

Impact on collection and use of road tolls in Dubai

Pursuant to the Law, proceeds from toll gates, including fees and fines, will be transferred to the company, as per the concession contract signed between RTA and Salik.

Existing toll gates in Dubai can be removed or modified subject to a Decree issued by the Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

New toll gates can also be added subject to a Decree issued by the Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and after RTA conducts a comprehensive traffic study in coordination with Salik.

Pursuant to the Law, Salik is exclusively authorised to operate, manage and develop the traffic toll system in Dubai.

It is also responsible for implementing legislation related to toll gates and the development, operation and management of traffic systems, as per contracts signed with competent authorities both in Dubai and outside the emirate.

The company also provides advisory services related to traffic regulations and the toll gate system and works with RTA to conduct studies for planning and identifying new locations for toll gates.

Considerations for a Salik IPO

According to the Law, Dubai Government owns all the shares of Salik Company PJSC.

The Executive Council of Dubai is authorised to determine the percentage of shares that can be offered for subscription either through an initial public offering (IPO) or private placement.

Valecha added: “In this environment, Salik IPO should be able to attract the most prominent global institutional investors. Qualitatively, Salik is a good company as DEWA since the company is a monopoly and it has a stable revenue stream.

“Infrastructure expansion in coming years and a rise in Dubai population mean Salik will be having strong growth in the future. Therefore, the IPO could garner big attention and can potentially turn out to be a hit among income investors.”

If the company’s shares are offered for subscription in a public offering or private placement, the Dubai Government should own shares worth a minimum of 60 percent of the company’s capital.

Shaheen added: “Ideally, companies that demonstrate solid financial performance and implied value, have a strong equity story and a clearly defined strategy, have a leading corporate governance, have a good sense of quality management.

“Thus, any ‘jewel’ asset coming to market (whether government or privately owned) will draw enough demand as long as the investors are clear on the asset’s equity story.”

Pursuant to the law, the company’s Board of Directors will consist of a chairman and vice chairman, in addition to board members.

The first board of directors of the company will be formed according to a decision issued by the chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. The Board serves for a period of three years.

The new law permits the transfer of some staff from RTA to the new entity. The director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA will issue a decision on the staff who can be transferred to the new company without any prejudice to their rights.

The law also authorises the director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, to nominate employees as judicial officers for recording violations of legislations the company is responsible for implementing.

The law also annuls any other legislation that may contradict it.

Source:
Arabian Business