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Shares of UAE's Al Ansari Financial Services up 16.5% on market debut


By Hadeel Al Sayegh

DUBAI, April 6 (Reuters) – Shares in UAE-based currency exchange company Al Ansari Financial Services climbed 16.5% above its listing price on its market debut after raising $210.5 million in an initial public offering (IPO) for 10% of the business.

The shares traded at 1.2 dirhams as the Dubai market opened on Thursday, against an IPO price near the top of the indicative range at 1.03 a share.

Al Ansari is one of the first family-owned businesses to go public in the United Arab Emirates.Family businesses account for about 60% of gross domestic product in the Gulf and employ about 80% of the workforce, AED 20 KPMG said in a report in October.

UAE’s National Bonds Corp, owned by the sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai, committed 200 million dirhams as a cornerstone investor in the public share sale.

Books were covered shortly after opening on March 16, according to a note to investors seen by Reuters, despite a global market sell-off on concern over the financial health of Credit Suisse.

The Middle East has been a bright spot for stock market listings in 2022 and so far this year, with flotations from Oman oil driller Abraj Energy and Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC Gas .

Companies from the Middle East raised $21.9 billion through IPOs in 2022, more than half the total for the wider Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Dealogic data shows.

(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh Editing by David Goodman)

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