Possible DAMAC IPO seen positive for local markets

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Investors are eager for a new listing on UAE markets and with increased interest in local equities, an IPO is seen performing well.

DAMAC Properties, a privately-held Dubai developer, is considering listing its shares on the stock market and has approached banks with proposals for advisory roles.

"Property prices have picked up and DAMAC has restarted projects (halted after the property bubble burst) so from that perspective, sentiment towards the real estate sector is good," says Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management. "Any IPO in the UAE market would be very positive."

Khan, however, says fund managers would prefer listings in sectors other than property and banking, which already dominate the local exchanges. But a successful IPO could be a door-opener for other family-owned companies considering raising capital from the equity market.

Shares in heavyweight National Bank of Abu Dhabi will be in focus after it appointed Alex Thursby from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group as its new chief executive on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Kuwait Finance House's Turkish unit Kuveyt Turk may consider an initial public offering in the coming period after raising its capital by 960 million lira to 2.06 billion lira ($1.14 billion), Chief Executive Ufuk Uyan said on Tuesday.

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