Eshraq, the Abu Dhabi property developer, has already received enough investor interest to sell the shares it plans to list next month, the head of the lead receiving bank said yesterday.
"The level of interest we've had from investors means the IPO will be fully covered," said Majd Maaitah, the director of securities services at National Bank of Abu Dhabi on the sidelines of a press conference in the capital yesterday.
Last week Eshraq announced plans to raise Dh825 million in an IPO scheduled for May 1, which would be the first non-insurance UAE company to test the public market in two years. The developer will sell 55 per cent of the company in the offering, with shares initially priced at Dh1.
"The area is having difficulty, but it doesn't mean there is no money," said Eshraq chairman Saleh Mohammed bin Nasrah. "Many investors are looking for opportunities."
Eshraq is taking the unusual approach of allowing investors to buy shares for a 25 per cent down payment, plus a fee of .02 fils a share. The balance will be due within two years, at the direction of the company's board of directors.
"Real estate companies need money over time, they don't necessarily need it from day one," said Elias Kawar, an investment banker with Royal Capital, the lead manager of the offering. "It is prudent to call in capital when it is needed."
The subscription is only open to GCC and UAE nationals, due to restrictions on non-citizens owning land in the UAE, company officials said.
Most of the interest has come from institutional investors, Mr Maaitah said.
Eshraq was formed in 2006 by a collection of investors from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It has three projects in preliminary stages of development: Marina Rise on Reem Island, the Gateway development on Zayed Bay in Abu Dhabi and Jumeirah Rise in Dubai.
Money raised by the IPO will fund the start construction of Marina Rise, two towers on Reem, executives said Tuesday.