BY SACHIN KUMAR
Doha: Trend to raise funds from global investors is gaining momentum in the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) region as more companies are going to European markets to raise capital.
In the past three years, 11 companies have listed shares on the London Stock Exchange to raise money from global investors.
Out of total 11, eight companies are from GCC countries, including one from Qatar.
“London’s position at the heart of the global financial community is one of the reasons that so many international companies choose to join our markets. Many of the world’s leading investment houses and financial institutions are based here,” said Ibukun Adebayo, Co-Head of Emerging Markets, London Stock Exchange.
“London’s professional investors are known for their outward-looking approach, offering companies from around the world access to a deep and wide pool of investment capital,” he said.
One of the main reasons for companies to list shares on the London Stock Exchange is presence of global investors. Listing shares outside of their countries also gives opportunity to the companies to diversify their source of raising funds.
Maximum companies listed on the London Stock Exchange in the last three years are from UAE. Since 2011, six companies from UAE have listed on the exchange, while rests were from Kuwait, Tunisia, Egypt and Qatar. Qatar Invest Fund had listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange in 2011. From Qatar, Commercial Bank was the first Qatari bank to list its Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) the London Stock Exchange in 2008.
Last year two companies, Damac Real Estate and Al Noor Hospitals raised capital from Europe. Damac Real Estate Development raised $400m by issuing Global Depository Receipts in December, 2013. It was the first UAE property company to list in London and was the largest IPO (Initial Public Offer) by a Middle Eastern company in London since 2005.
Al Noor Hospitals undertook the second largest international IPO on LSE in June 2013 and raised $342m. In March this year, Abu Dhabi’s Gulf Marine Services raised $100m and took a premium listing on the Main Market.