Saudi shopping mall giant Arabian Centres’ $748
million initial public offering (IPO) is the
kingdom’s biggest equity deal in years, and is
being pitched as its first "truly international" offering from
The deal is symbolic of the stage Saudi Arabia is at in its
gradual economic liberalisation, following the Saudi
government’s unveiling of Vision 2030 two years
ago. The modernisation plan aims to enhance investment and
facilitate regulatory changes, with the stated aim of
diversifying the oil-reliant economy.
Both international and domestic investors were able to
participate in the IPO as a result of recent reforms.
Like many other corporates active in the capital markets in
the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, Arabian Centres is
in real estate, with a portfolio of 19 shopping centres.
"What made this deal different and special is the fact that
it was the first truly international equity offering out