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Sat 31 May 2008 10:04 PM

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Saudi bourse world's second busiest for IPOs

Listings on market jump 322% to $8.5 bn, surpassing London.

The Saudi Stock Exchange surpassed London to be the world's second busiest market for initial public offerings (IPOs) in the first five months, Thomson Reuters data showed.

The New York Stock Exchange, thanks to the $19.7 billion listing of Visa, topped the global IPO league table with 12 new issues raising a combined $24.4 billion, up 173% year-on-year.

The total of Saudi Stock Exchange IPOs jumped 322% from a year earlier to $8.5 billion as it welcomed Alinma Bank, which raised $2.8 billion in the country's biggest IPO in April.

The Saudi bourse also benefited from the $1.87 billion listing of mobile phone company Zain Saudi Arabia, an affiliate of Kuwait's Zain, and Petrochemical firm PetroRabigh's $1.2 billion float.

Despite growth on some exchanges, global IPO activity fell 36% to $65 billion in the first five months as the global financial crisis dented investor appetite for equity.

IPOs on the London Stock Exchange's main market were down 74% to $5.6 billion, while Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which ranked fourth in the global IPO market, attracted IPOs totalling $5.2 billion, a 57% decline from 2007. (Reuters)