In recent times, Arabian Centres Company—which is the leading Saudi shopping mall developer—is intending to launch an IPO (initial public offering) that would be the kingdom’s largest since 2014, when National Commercial Bank—Saudi Arabia’s biggest lender—was listed. The listing—approved by Saudi financial watchdog Capital Market Authority—is planning to offer 95 Million shares on the Tadawul, which is the Saudi stock exchange. It depicts about 20% of the company’s share capital. Olivier Nougarou—CEO of Arabian Centres Company—said to Reuters, “The IPO can be in the range of $1 Billion.”

Reportedly, Arabian Centres Company operates, develops and possesses 19 malls in 10 cities in Saudi Arabia. The shopping mall’s operator had a profit of $576 Million in 2018, which is up from $511 Million in 2016. In a statement, the company stated the IPO as “laying the framework for the upcoming chapter of our progress story.” It said the listing will provide domestic and international financiers “the opportunity to spend in an active company and industry well-positioned to gain from the longer-term constructional growth path in the retailer sector in the Kingdom.”

On a similar note, earlier, National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia was in news as the bank started a discussion to create mega lender. National Commercial Bank started preliminary talks with Riyad Bank for a union, a deal which will generate the Kingdom’s third-biggest lender with $182 Billion in assets. In a statement, National Commercial Bank said that talks might not outcome in a transaction. The lender said it has synchronized the step with the central bank and that a contract is not anticipated to outcome in forced dismissal of staff. Seemingly, Saudi Arabia is exploring possible mergers to amplify its financial services sector after the union of Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank.

SOURCE: Bruce Dixon