Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- 10 million Saudis, approximately half the country’s national population, subscribed to the ten-day initial public offering (IPO) of Emaar the Economic City (EEC), setting a new record in the Kingdom’s capital market history. Oversubscribed by 2.82 times, the SR2.55 billion IPO received 2.8 million applications with the total amount subscribed at SR7.18 billion.
In another record of sorts, the IPO fetched the largest ever subscription through automatic teller machines (ATMs) highlighting the trend of Saudi nationals being increasingly tech and online savvy. Over 30 per cent of the total subscriptions were made via ATMs.
EEC’s fully underwritten IPO, open only for Saudi nationals, had on offer 255 million shares at a nominal value of SR10 each, proceeds of which will be used towards the development of the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
“The overwhelming response to the IPO is a direct result of the successful vision of The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz AlSaud to transform the economy of the Kingdom to be ready to leverage a host of opportunities aimed at the prosperity of the Saudi citizens,” said EEC Chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar. “The forward looking policies of the Saudi Government and the Capital Market Authority (CMA) as well as the strong and growing economy of the Kingdom have played a key role in the success of the EEC IPO,” he explained.
“The invaluable support provided by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) in the creation of the EEC and in making the world-class KAEC project a reality, has strengthened our resolve to move ahead with confidence,” he said.
“We are thankful to the large number of Saudi investors for their trust in our company and in the prestigious KAEC project. As a path-breaking initiative, KAEC will usher in a new era of economic prosperity for the Kingdom and play a critical role in the housing, education, health care, financial and economic sectors. Besides, the project will also create over 500,000 employment opportunities for Saudi citizens amongst its various components. The huge response to the IPO is therefore a reiteration of the confidence investors have in the project and the value it brings to the Saudi society,” Mr. Alabbar added.