Al Ansari owners raise $210 million in Dubai’s first IPO of 2023

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The owners of remittance and money exchange firm Al Ansari Financial Services raised 773 million dirhams ($210 million) after pricing shares at the top of the range.

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Al Ansari Holding LLC sold 750 million shares for 1.03 dirhams each, valuing the company at $2.1 billion, according to a statement on Monday. Its shares will start trading on April 6.

The IPO — Dubai’s first this year — attracted total demand of more than 12.7 billion dirhams, including a 200 million-dirham commitment from cornerstone investor National Bonds Corp. Excluding the cornerstone tranche, the IPO was oversubscribed about 22 times.

Al Ansari had received enough orders for all of the shares on offer within an hour of books opening on March 16 even as markets were roiled by the collapse of several mid-sized US lenders and concerns over Credit Suisse Group AG.

Al Ansari is one of the first family-owned businesses in the United Arab Emirates to go public. Last year, listings in the city raised a combined $8.5 billion amid a privatization drive that sought increase trading volumes and match IPO activity in neighboring Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. Most of the offerings in Dubai were of state-owned firms.

Bright Spot

The Middle East continues to be a bright spot for IPOs globally after high oil prices buoyed stock markets and drove investor inflows last year. Adnoc Gas has surged 27 percent in Abu Dhabi since it raised $2.5 billion in the world’s biggest IPO of the year earlier this month. Abraj Energy Services has jumped almost 18 percent from its offer price in Oman.

Al Ansari Exchange was set up almost 60 years ago and currently has over 230 branches in the UAE, making it one of the largest exchange companies in the country. In addition to exchange services, it offers remittances, services for paying domestic workers, savings plans and cash management solutions for companies, according to its website.

Al Ansari posted a net profit of 595 million dirhams in 2022 and expects to pay a dividend of at least 600 million dirhams for 2023. The company is planning a minimum payout ratio of at least 70 percent of net profit after that, according to its prospectus.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, EFG Hermes and Emirates NBD Capital are managing the offering.

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