RIYADH: Amlak International shares went on sale to the Saudi public on Thursday in what is the Kingdom’s first initial public offering since the coronavirus crisis.
The Saudi real estate finance company started the second phase of its share sale to retail investors after the institutional offering was oversubscribed.
It is offering about 2.7 million shares to individual subscribers at a price of SR16 ($4.27) per share.
This public offering represents almost 10 percent of the 27.18 million shares Amlak has decided to float, which accounts for 30 percent of its capital valued at SR906 million.
Individual buyers can purchase at least 10 shares and at most 1 million shares through the receiving agents, the Saudi Investment Bank, National Commercial Bank, Al Rajhi Bank and Bank Al Jazira, Amlak said.
The company said the public sale would run to July 5 and any surplus would be refunded on July 14.
Amlak International’s IPO is the first in the GCC region after the outbreak of coronavirus. Abdullah Al-Sudairy, Amlak’s CEO, said in an earlier interview with Arab News that the IPO represented a vote of confidence in the long-term fundamentals of the business and the whole economy.
“Amlak was widely rumored to be considering the market initiative earlier this year before the pandemic broke on the world. That put the plans on hold for a while, but the decision to go ahead with it now represents a vote of confidence in the business, in the fundamentals of the Saudi economy, and in the Kingdom’s financial markets” he said.
Despite a seemingly unfavorable global economic backdrop, investor interest in the Saudi mortgage remains strong following a government initiative to boost home ownership in the Kingdom.
Under the Vision 2030 blueprint for economic and social reform, the government aims to boost home ownership for citizens to 70 percent by 2030 and to raise the total of mortgage loans to SR502 billion by the end of next year from SR290 billion, which represents a jump of 73 percent.
Still the coronavirus pandemic may impact the growth of the mortgage market in the Kingdom.
“In the short-term, COVID-19 and declining oil prices are expected to have an impact on the pace of construction and demand for housing, reflecting sluggish activity,” Deloitte said in a report on the Saudi mortgage market published in May.