DP World set to start London listing on June 1

Dubai-based port operator announces 'major milestone'; outlook upgraded by ratings agency S&P
DP World set to start London listing on June 1
Dubai ports, Dubai logistics
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 25 May 2011 06:21 PM

Shares in DP World, the third largest ports operator in the world, will begin trading on the London Stock Exchange on June 1, the company said on Wednesday.

DP World said believes that a dual listing between the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Dubai will help "attract a broader range of investors".

Mohammed Sharaf, CEO, DP World, called the listing on the London Stock Exchange "a major milestone in the evolution" of the company.

The announcement came on the same day that ratings agency Standard & Poor's upgraded its outlook on Dubai-based port operator to positive.

DP World has said its free float would remain unchanged at 19.55 percent. The consolidation will reduce the number of issued shares to 830 million from 16.6 billion.

Shares in DP World on Nasdaq Dubai ended 1.8 percent lower on Wednesday.

Standard & Poor's on Wednesday said DP World's financial risk profile would soon improve when it has completed the sale of 75 percent of its shares in DPW Australia.

DP World has announced that the $1.5bn of proceeds will be used for debt repayment while the London listing is designed to boost liquidity.

"In addition, DPW's operating performance remains healthy and supportive, in our view, with 8.5 percent throughput growth across consolidated terminals for the first-quarter 2011," S&P said in a report.

It added that it did not see the $23.9bn debt restructuring of parent company Dubai World having any "adverse interference" on the port operator.

"Our belief that Dubai World will continue to allow DP World to operate on a stand-alone basis and not subject it to material cash calls or asset transfers to DWC mitigates the negative rating pressure arising from what we believe to be a weaker parent," S&P added.

S&P analysts said they also expected DP World's financial performance to improve, while they said they saw the company starting a process soon to successfully refinance the $3bn loan facility falling due in October 2012.

DP World posted a 35 percent rise in 2010 profit, helped by increased trading volumes and cost-efficiencies.

Profit for the year was $450m up from $333m a year earlier.

S&P said it would consider downgrading DP World's outlook to stable, or lower ratings, if it saw any "negative interference" from Dubai World of if DP World failed to put in place a plan to refinance its 2012 debt maturity "in a timely manner".

For all the latest market news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.