There is a strong possibility that the Gulf region will see more IPOs this year, according to Jassim Alseddiqi, the CEO of the Abu Dhabi Financial Group.
In an interview with CNBC, Alseddiqi noted that the conditions for IPO are significantly better now than when ADNOC Distribution came into the market in December 2017, a period he described as “an extremely difficult time.”
“Today, compared with 2017, it is a much better financial situation, investor sentiment situation,” he said. “I really think that we should be witnessing more IPOs coming up to the market this year.”
During the interview, Alseddiqi also said that he believes there are ample opportunities for investment in Saudi Arabia.
“I think financial services, insurance, real estate, are all interesting sectors in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “Of course, entertainment is also a very clear opportunity.”
Alseddiqi added that he believes that start-ups in the Gulf region are catching up “fairly quickly” to the rest of the world.
“We’ve seen a lot of successful start-ups, almost becoming unicorns that have come up from the region,” he said. “I think we’ll see the region catching up faster than other capitals around the world.”
Additionally, Alseddiqi expressed optimism at oil prices in 2018, which he expects to hover at between $70 and $75 per barrel.
“I don’t think they should be worried at all,” he said. “It’s a healthy price in the longer term. Now, what has happened in the past three years, in terms of restructures in economy, in terms of subsidies, the Ritz Carlton event, etc. I think these are healthy in the long term, and long term investors should see this as signs of…future stability and signs of current opportunity.”
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