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Saudi Research & Marketing Group Makes History: First Arab Media Company to Go Public - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Beginning tomorrow, shares of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG), the first Arab media company to go public, will be traded on the Kingdom’s stock market, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) announced yesterday.

SRMG shares would be traded on Tadawul Services Sector, the CMA said, adding that the trading would continue non-stop until the end of the evening session of Wednesday. The enlisting will take place as usual at 8 a.m.

Prince Faisal ibn Salman, chairman of SRMG, said the company was entering a new historic phase with the trading of its shares on the Saudi bourse. “This phase imposes new challenges on the group’s employees as they have to increase their working efficiency to raise profits in order to compensate investors who have entrusted their confidence in the company,” he said.

Prince Faisal urged SRMG employees to concentrate their efforts on strengthening the company’s basic pillars. “You should not be detracted by market fluctuations. Prices could be affected by different factors that are not necessarily related to operations of a company or its profits,” he explained.

However, the SRMG chief predicted that his company’s shares would perform well in the market as they were floated with a reasonable premium.

He said the company would work to expand its activities in the Arab world, enter into new strategic alliances and launch new products following the board’s instructions and plans.

“The publishing industry in the Arab world is still in its nascent stage and there are a lot of investment opportunities,” he said, adding that it would benefit from the tremendous growth of economies in the region.

Both Saudis and expatriates will start dealing in SRMG shares from tomorrow. The company floated 24 million shares or 30 percent of its capital worth SR800 million in an initial public offering (IPO) last month. The IPO, which started April 8, was oversubscribed nearly four times.

The IPO saw as many as 1.6 million investors purchasing the company’s shares at the rate of SR46 per share. Samba Financial Group, which managed the IPO, allocated 15 shares to each individual subscriber.

“There was a big rush by investors to subscribe to SRMG shares in the last days of the IPO despite an announcement that all offered shares have been subscribed in the first week,” said Eissa Al-Eissa, managing director and chief executive of Samba.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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