TAQA-owned power firm raises $182m in IPO

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Moroccan power firm Jorf Lasfar Energy Co (JLEC), owned by Abu Dhabi National Energy Co, raised MD1.5bn ($182 million) on Thursday, traders said, in one of the first share offers in Morocco in almost two years.

The sale helped to drive up the main index MASI index by more than 1 percent on expectations it will inject liquidity in often sluggish trading and attract more company listings.

Morocco has been downgraded to "frontier market" status by index provider MSCI, due to a lack of liquidity in the market.

JLEC runs the largest coal-fired power plant in the Middle East and North Africa. It is also the first independent power producer (IPP) in Morocco, supplying 38 per cent of the kingdom's electricity.

The company, valued in total at around 9 billion dirhams, sold 2.24 million new shares at 447.5 dirhams each.

It raised 1 billion dirhams in the public offering, while the remaining 500 million dirhams came from a private deal with three Moroccan institutional investors, RMA Watanya, SCR Maroc and MCMA.

"The offering had attracted offers worth more than 2 billion dirhams," one trader said.

The stock will begin trading on Casablanca's market on December 24 under the ticker symbol JLC.

JLEC has said it plans to invest heavily in its power plant at Jorf Lasfar near the city of El Jadida on the Atlantic coast.

Earlier this year TAQA sealed a $1.4 billion financing deal with Japanese and Korean banks for its Moroccan subsidiary to increase the plant's capacity by 700 megawatts to 2065 MW.

The expansion of Jorf Lasfar will increase Moroccan power generation capacity by more than 10 percent.

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