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Wed 11 Apr 2007 10:12 PM

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UAE to let owners keep larger stakes after IPOs

Private companies can now retain stakes of up to 70% when they take their businesses public.

A UAE advisory body approved amending a law to allow private companies to retain stakes of up to 70% when they take their businesses public, UAE daily Gulf News reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Commercial Companies Law had required owners of private companies to sell no less than 55% of their businesses in initial public offerings.

The government wants to encourage family-owned businesses to list shares on the country's exchanges, which are dominated by banking and real estate firms.

Some of the UAE's largest non-government businesses are family owned.

The 40-member Federal National Council, which has no legislative power, approved the amendment on Tuesday, the Gulf News said.

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