GCC countries are preparing to witness a record boom in IPOs in 2018. Taking the lead this time are Saudi Arabia and UAE, which have more than 30 companies in the IPO pipeline. Last quarter was a marvelous one with this respect as it raised somewhere around $2.5 billion, a significant addition of $2.3 billion compared to the previous quarter. 2017 IPO activities ended on a high note with progressive government policies and improved market conditions. Muscat Securities Market (MSM) too had a brilliant quarter raising somewhere around $82 million in Q4 FY2017. Kuwait’s bourse has also been attracting investor interest and is in a neck to neck competition with Saudi Arabia to acquire the second rank, after DFM, to raise cash through IPO. Recently, S&P affirmed its ‘AA/A-1+’ long-term and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings for Kuwait as well.
The GCC markets have also been attracting numerous cross-border IPOs and renewing institutional investor confidence in GCC equity markets. The spotlight, however, still remains on Saudi’s Aramco, which if it comes to market will be the largest global IPO ever.