The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has been making significant strides in developing its capital market and promoting investment in recent years. The listing and initial public offering (IPO) trends in KSA are a reflection of the growth and development of the country’s financial sector.
Listing on the stock exchange allows companies to raise capital and increase visibility, while IPOs provide a platform for new and growing companies to enter the public market. Understanding these trends is essential for investors, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders in the financial sector to make informed decisions and capitalize on the opportunities available. This article will provide a brief overview of the listing and IPO trends in KSA, including some of the key drivers and future outlooks.
Current Market Trends
Saudi Arabia boasts the highest growth rate among G20 nations, backed by the government’s strong effort to diversify its economy and a steady flow of foreign direct investment. Despite global market volatility in 2022, Saudi Arabia’s stock market has remained relatively resilient. Ending 2022 with a bang, the economy grew by 8.8% in the third quarter, with the market capitalization of publicly traded companies totalling around $2,706 billion (USD) by January 2023. However, the nation’s stock exchange experienced its first dip since 2015, with the Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) slipping by 7.1% by the end of 2022.
Despite this, the overall trend in KSA’s stock market has been positive. Q4 of 2022 saw the MENA region, and more specifically Saudi Arabia, become a dominating force in listing activity. Seven Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) were conducted on the Tadawul Main Market with an impressive collective sum of $4.7 billion raised from investors.
Additionally, six IPOs brought in an additional $65 million while two direct listings occurred on Nomu – Parallel Market as well. Luberef subsidiary Saudi Aramco Base Oil Company achieved the largest IPO, which raised a staggering $1.3 billion – amounting to more than double what had been collected through all Saudi offerings during Q3 2022.
Key Drivers of Saudi Arabia’s Listing and IPO Market
The key drivers of Saudi Arabia’s listing and IPO market can be attributed to the nation’s successful economic policies and several serendipitous global events. Here are some of the factors at play:
- Reforms such as Vision 2030, the National Transformation Program (NTP), and introducing a new regulatory framework for public offerings have played a pivotal role in driving investment and making it easier for businesses to list. This has enabled companies to gain access to capital markets, broadening their investor base and allowing them to scale up quickly.
- Increased investor confidence and a low-cost capital environment have also contributed to the growth in listing and IPO activity. Direct and indirect foreign investments into KSA have risen significantly, with more international investors participating in public offerings.
- Recent geopolitical events that contributed to the global increase in oil prices have bolstered the Saudi economy and prompted investors to seek lucrative opportunities in the region.
What is the Future Outlook?
The outlook for KSA’s listing and IPO market remains positive. There is a strong expectation that the optimism and growth witnessed in 2022 will continue into 2023, with more IPO activity and an increase in the number of listed companies.
The Tadawul Group remains committed to furthering its capabilities beyond what they have already achieved. In 2022, this progress was particularly noteworthy as multiple post-trade upgrades were implemented for the first time ever on the Exchange, in addition to introducing a new Single Stock Futures (SSFs) product on its derivatives market. As a result, we are likely to see more investor interest in listing and IPO activity on the Tadawul exchange as investors become more confident of the market’s potential.
In addition, the number of cross-listings is also expected to increase, with Tadawul hosting its first dual listing of the Americana Restaurants (AMR) in December last year with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). This follows an agreement in 2019 with ADX to encourage more cross-listings between the two exchanges.
A strong IPO pipeline has been identified, with the potential for even larger offerings than in 2022. The government’s commitment to economic reform and the favourable geopolitical climate will likely sustain investor confidence, making it easier for companies to raise capital through public offerings. Bucking global trends, the outlook for KSA’s listing and IPO market remains promising.