Over 20 Dubai firms keen to IPO, says Borse chief

Companies await market rebound before debut, Dubai has not seen IPO since 2009
The global financial crisis hit the UAEs IPO market hard and demand has been further dampened by plunging valuations
By Reuters
Tue 23 Aug 2011 11:51 AM

More than 20 companies in Dubai, which has not seen an
initial public offering since 2009, would float their shares if market
conditions improve, the chairman of Borse Dubai said on Tuesday.

"We have over 20 companies who would be interested
based on a survey we conducted. They are waiting for market conditions to
improve," said Essa Kazim, who is also chief executive of Dubai Financial
Market, the only listed Arab bourse.

Borse Dubai, the holding company for DFM and Nasdaq Dubai,
wants to a more diverse range of listed companies, Kazim said.

"Right now the listings are mainly skewed towards
financials and property. We want a better representation of Dubai's economy on
the bourses," he said.

The value of initial public offerings in the Middle East
plunged 95 percent to their lowest level in five years during the first
quarter, Ernst & Young said in a May report.

The global financial crisis hit the UAE's IPO market hard and
demand has been further dampened by plunging valuations on regional bourses and
a slump in the property sector. High valuations demanded by sellers and a
reluctance to lose management control have also hindered IPOs.

The UAE saw a two-and-a-half years IPO drought ended this year
when three companies floated on the Abu Dhabi index .

But conditions have been less welcoming in Dubai where
retailer Axiom Telecom aborted its IPO plans last year citing market conditions
and liquidity concerns. .

Some UAE firms have opted to seek liquidity and better share
valuations elsewhere. DP World, the world's third-largest ports operator,
listed on the London exchange in June.

Meanwhile, energy firm Dana Gas has picked four banks to
arrange its planned listing on the London Stock Exchange, IFR reported last

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