Monday 20, March 2017 by Georgina Enzer

Gateway to Capital, Growth and Value - 2nd Arab IPO Summit Hosted in Dubai

The Arab IPO Summit 2017, organised by UMS conferences, was recently held at the Sheraton Creek Hotel in Dubai.

A host of leading global companies and exchanges were in attendance to discuss key issues impacting the region’s IPO market, how companies can grow capital and enhance their financial value by going public, and what requirements need to be met to successfully list on an exchange.

Throughout the two-day event there were a number of sessions and panel discussions hosted by business leaders, IPO experts and CEO’s of some of the most prominent exchanges locally and globally. Companies and organisations in attendance included National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Muscat Securities Market, Qatar Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Egyptian Exchange, Dubai Financial Market, Palestine Exchange, Aster DM Healthcare, Ansar Financial and Development Corporation in Canada and Capital Markets Authority in Saudi Arabia.

A key question that was proposed for consideration was why companies should consider going public. Improved brand awareness, increased liquidity, strengthened corporate governance and possibly longer-term, higher valuation of the company were all cited as examples. These benefits were noted as of particular relevance to family businesses who are increasingly working to adapt to volatile market conditions, changing regulations and growing investor appetite for more diversified fund portfolios.

Panellists and speakers also stressed the importance of working towards making public listing easier in the region. This will contribute to ensuring the local market’s financing ecosystem is healthy and supported, and is particularly important for smaller companies who are looking to list and aid the growth of the economy.

Additionally, with a large number of Shari'ah compliant companies operating in the Middle East, guidance was given on how to publicly list without engaging in Haram activities, and how the IPO process differs from listing on a conventional exchange, particularly those in Western markets.

Sponsored by Aon and Tamleek and supported by London Stock Exchange, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Muscat Securities Market, Palestine Exchange, Egyptian Exchange and Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, this year’s Arab IPO Summit was the ideal platform for leading regional businesses, stock exchanges, banks and regulatory bodies to engage and exchange ideas and opinions relating public listings.

The decision to go public involves much more than a simple equity transaction, and with only one opportunity to get it right, the decision-making process is even more critical.

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