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Mon 1 Jan 2007 12:00 AM

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Rasmala delivers second IPO blow

Dubai-based investment house Rasmala Investments has dealt the local financial market a double blow by pulling out of its public listing on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), which was scheduled to launch before the end of this year.

Dubai-based investment house Rasmala Investments has dealt the local financial market a double blow by pulling out of its public listing on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), which was scheduled to launch before the end of this year.

The move follows Oger Telecom's withdrawal from the DIFX at the end of November.

Rasmala was considering a flotation worth up to US$300m (AED 1.1bn), according to its CEO Ali Al-Shihabi.

He previously stated that Rasmala would use the money to buy several stakes in listed and private Arab companies in an attempt to develop those companies with public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and restructuring. However, with Dubai’s stock market reaching a two-year low, Al-Shihabi reported that the company had now decided to postpone its IPO until the exchange bounced back.

Rasmala offers both asset management and investment banking. The group recently launched a brokerage subsidiary, Rasmala Financial Brokerage, where clients can trade on the Dubai Financial Market.

Rasmala’s shareholders include the crown prince of Ras Al-Khaimah, Deutsche Bank, Samba Financial Group, and groups from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Shihabi says Rasmala currently has more than US$272m (AED 993m) under management, mostly invested outside the Arab world.

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