ADQ Plans to List Abu Dhabi Ports on Local Bourse This Year

  • In Business
  • 2021-09-07 08:08:43Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Sovereign wealth fund ADQ plans to list Abu Dhabi Ports on the emirate's exchange before the end of the year, the latest in a series of planned share sales on the bourse.

The listing on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange is expected to comprise a sale of a portion of existing shares to investors in the United Arab Emirates, according to a statement on Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi is set to list its ports operator a year after neighboring Dubai took DP World private, one of several delistings from the local bourse.

By contrast, authorities in Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, have been pushing to revive IPOs on its bourse. The exchange -- also owned by ADQ -- is offering sweeteners that include flexibility on the minimum stake size required for share sales and promising to reduce or forgo listing fees. The bourse may see at least 10 new listings this year, which would be the most on record, its chairman said in May.

Booming Pipeline of IPO Deals Is Said to Get Push From Abu Dhabi

On Monday, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. said it's planning to sell shares in its drilling unit in what would rank among the largest initial public offerings in the UAE.

Fertilizers, Aluminum

Adnoc has also started preparations for a potential IPO of its fertilizer joint venture Fertiglobe, while sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co. is poised to select underwriters for a potential offering of Emirates Global Aluminium that could value it at more than $15 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said last week.

The UAE, the third-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has used its oil wealth to broaden its economy, diversifying into industries like tourism and developing global transport and trade hubs. Those businesses suffered last year as the coronavirus pandemic slashed energy use, cut air travel and blocked trade flows.

Established in 2006, Abu Dhabi Ports is estimated to contribute 13.6% of Abu Dhabi's non-oil economic growth, according to the company's website.

Abu Dhabi Ports had said in April that it plans to sell more debt to support investment after a debut $1 billion bond. Volume handled by the port has largely returned to levels seen before the pandemic, its chief strategy office had said at the time.

The company handled 3.2 million TEUs -- or 20-foot equivalent units, a standard measure of cargo volumes in the industry -- of containers in 2020, according to its April bond prospectus. By comparison, Dubai's Jebel Ali port, the region's largest and owned by DP World, has capacity of more than 19 million TEUs.

Abu Dhabi Ports handled 30 million tons of general cargo volumes last year. Revenue rose about 24% last year to 3.4 billion dirhams ($926 million), the company said on Tuesday.

Chief Financial Officer Martin Aarup said in an April interview that it aims to continue growing at double-digit rates.

(Updates with cargo, capacity data starting in the third paragraph from the bottom.)

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