UAE's Massar postpones IPO on poor demand

Abu Dhabi-based fleet manager Massar Solutions reportedly halts plan for $156m share sale

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Abu Dhabi-based fleet manager Massar Solutions has postponed its initial share sale after the planned flotation failed to secure enough investor backing during the subscription period, a report by The National said on Sunday.

Significantly less than half of the shares in the 576 million dirham ($156.8 million) initial public offering (IPO) were taken up by local retail and institutional investors for whom they were reserved, the paper reported, citing an advisory source familiar with the matter.

Massar's listing is now being reviewed by the advisors and the markets regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the report added.

The company was selling a 40 percent stake provided by existing shareholders Invest AD, a local financial firm, and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) between January 11 and 25.

A spokesman for Massar declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Should the postponement be confirmed, it will be a blow to the Abu Dhabi bourse and other companies in the UAE which were hoping to go public in the near-term.

Massar would have been the first listing in Abu Dhabi since 2011, as investor sentiment suffered in the wake of the financial crisis but was improving after rebounds in UAE markets since 2013.

However, the decline in oil prices - off around 60 percent from their June peak - had increased volatility on Gulf bourses and the head of the SCA said last month a number of companies were delaying listing plans.

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