The UAE’s recent surge in initial public offerings (IPOs) is expected to continue for several more years, according to Ayman Hamed, the CEO of International Securities, an Abu Dhabi-based securities broker. The increased number of IPOs has supported the performance of equity markets and brought more depth to them by listing companies from various sectors. In 2022, Middle East IPOs raised more than $23 billion from 48 listings, compared to $7.52 billion from 20 offerings in the previous year.
In the first quarter of 2023, Abu Dhabi accounted for 14% of all listings worldwide, demonstrating the strength of its capital markets. The city attracted $3 billion in listing proceeds, placing it third worldwide, with Adnoc Gas raising about $2.5 billion from the sale of a 5% stake.
The average daily market turnover on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange has surged, rising from a range of Dh200 million to Dh300 million in 2020 to a current range of Dh1 billion to Dh1.5 billion. International Securities, which began dealing in IPOs in March 2020, has seen encouraging results from its dealings with IPOs in the form of higher investor participation and turnover.
Looking forward, more markets are expected to be added to ADX’s Tabadul network, further expanding its depth and breadth. The Tabadul Exchange Hub is the Gulf Cooperation Council’s first digital exchange hub, designed to boost market and economic relations between the UAE and Bahrain. Now, stocks traded on both Bahrain’s and Oman’s stock exchanges can be directly traded on the Tabadul exchange on ADX. Hamed expects the network to further enhance regional market liquidity.