Saudi Arabia’s bourse invites banks to pitch for roles in its upcoming IPO: sources

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s bourse, Tadawul, has invited banks to pitch for roles in its highly-anticipated flotation, three sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

With a market capitalisation of $2.5 trillion, Tadawul is the Arab world’s largest stock exchange.

Tadawul hired HSBC in 2016 to manage an initial public offering (IPO) initially planned for 2018 but put that on hold due to oil giant Saudi Aramco (SE:2222)’s record $29.4 billion listing at the end of 2019.

A request for proposals (RFP) was sent to a number of international and local banks to determine their roles for the bourse’s upcoming share offering, said the sources, declining to be named as the matter is not public.

Tadawul was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Reuters on Wednesday.

A timeline for an IPO would be provided this year, Tadawul’s chief executive Khalid Alhussan told Reuters in January.

Alhussan said 2020 was a good test for the Saudi market when, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, liquidity tripled, there was a 26% increase in the number of qualified foreign investors opening portfolios, and more than 100,000 local investors joined the stock market.

The bourse has benefited from Aramco’s listing. It has welcomed a slew of companies since the pandemic including healthcare firm Suleiman Al Habib and Riyadh-based vehicle rental company Theeb Rent-a-Car.