More Gulf region IPOs likely this year, says Abu Dhabi Financial Group CEO

Abu Dhabi Financial Group CEO Jassim Alseddiqi said he believes start-ups in the region are quickly catching up to the rest of the world
Alseddiqi added that he believes that start-ups in the Gulf region are catching up “fairly quickly” to the rest of the world.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 18 Apr 2018 10:28 AM

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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Last Updated: Wed 18 Apr 2018 11:19 AM GST

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