Arabian Centres heralds new era for Saudi IPOs

Author: Jimmie Franklin | Published: 30 May 2019

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 country.

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 of...