The appetite for initial public offering (IPO) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has remained strong, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE raising over a billion dollars in proceeds in just three months.

During the first quarter of the year, at least ten IPOs were launched in the two countries, with combined proceeds hitting $1.2 billion, according to the EY MENA IPO Eye Q1 2024 report.

Nine out of the ten IPOs were in Saudi Arabia, enabling the kingdom to bag the biggest chunk of regional proceeds, although the UAE’s Parkin Company IPO raised the highest funds with $0.4 billion, accounting for 37.2% of the total IPO value.

“Saudi Arabia continued to dominate listing activity with nine IPOs across diverse sectors, while DFM welcomed its first listing in 2024,” said Brad Watson, EY MENA Strategy and Transactions Leader.

Returns and upcoming listings

At the end of the quarter, eight out of the 10 IPOs in MENA registered a positive return compared to their IPO price. MBC Group led the table with a 128% gain.

So far, 25 private companies and 10 funds across various sectors plan to list on the exchanges in the MENA region this year.

Globally, a total of 287 IPOs were launched in the first quarter of the year, securing $23.7 billion in proceeds, up by 7% compared to a year ago.

As for the stock markets in the region, the Egyptian Exchange (EGX30) came out as the top performer, as it recorded an 8% gain during the first three months of the year.

Boursa Kuwait Premier Market came next with a 7.5% growth, followed by the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) with 4.6%.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)