Dubai district cooling firm Empower rises in trading debut after $724 million IPO

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Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corp. rose in its Dubai debut following an initial public offering that attracted $34 billion in orders, underscoring the continued appetite for listings in the oil-rich Gulf.

Empower, as the district cooling firm is known, jumped as much as 9 percent to 1.45 dirhams ($0.39), valuing it at about $4 billion. The shares later pared some gains to trade up 2.3 percent Wednesday morning.

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The Gulf has been one of the world’s most active IPO markets in 2022, a year otherwise marked by deep asset-sell-offs and fears of recession. Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh have been buoyed by oil trading near $100 a barrel and investor inflows.

Empower shareholders Dubai Electricity & Water Authority PJSC and Emirates Power Investment doubled the size of the firm’s offering to 20 percent in the face of huge demand. In all, they sold 2 billion shares at 1.33 dirhams each, the top of the pricing range, raising 2.66 billion dirhams.

Empower is Dubai’s fourth privatization in recent months as the financial hub seeks to ramp up liquidity. The IPOs have raised about $8.32 billion combined.

Still, not all companies have seen strong demand for their shares beyond their initial trading periods. DEWA jumped 16 percent in its first four days as a listed stock, but has since fallen back to around its IPO price. The decline coincided with volatility in global financial markets as economies weakened and central bank raised interest rates.

Citigroup Inc., Emirates NBD Capital, Merrill Lynch International and EFG-Hermes arranged Empower’s deal. Moelis & Co. was the company’s independent financial adviser.

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