x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Chinese firms could follow peer on to DIFX

A surveillance firm will become the first Chinese company to have its shares listed on the Dubai International Financial Exchange.

A surveillance firm will become the first Chinese company to have its shares listed on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) on Oct 13, paving a way that experts say other firms from the Asian giant will soon follow. China Security and Surveillance Technology (CSST), one of the Chinese government's leading suppliers of digital surveillance technology, has already received multimillion-dirham investments from the Sharaf Group and Faisal Holdings. Its shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, but not in its home country.

Robert McMillen, the chairman of MAC Capital Advisors, the corporate finance house advising CSST on its listing, said the Gulf was the next target market for firms from China. "There are a lot of Chinese companies disenchanted with their listings in the US and the UK, especially because of the plunging markets this year," he said, adding that GCC markets until recently had "stood up pretty well". Mr McMillen said that CSST and many other Chinese companies were not looking to float in order to raise capital, but rather as a way of penetrating new markets and expanding their shareholder base.

"This will provide our group with wider market access and a significantly higher profile in the Middle East," said Guoshen Tu, the chairman and chief executive of CSST. "While we continue with our business strategy of expanding domestically in China, we believe that a listing in Dubai will provide the group with a foothold into the rapidly expanding Middle East markets and surrounding regions, including Africa, India and Pakistan."

It has a market capitalisation of US$681 million (Dh2.5 billion), and reported annual sales of $314m. Forbes magazine last week named it as one of Asia's top 200 companies with sales under $1bn. afoxwell@thenational.ae