x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Islamic insurer Wataniya's Dh82.5m IPO over subscribed by six times

Islamic Insurer Wataniya's initial public offering was over subscribed by at least six times, after a two year drought in the UAE.

Islamic Insurer Wataniya's initial public offering was over subscribed by at least six times, an official at NBAD said. The Abu Dhabi lender is acting as the adviser, lead manager and receiving bank for the initial public offering.

"This proves the fact that there is still enough liquidity that could be directed in the equity markets," said Majd Maaiteh, the head of securities at NBAD.

Wataniya's Dh82.5 million IPO was launched on April 18 and closed on Sunday. The company will list shares on the ADX after one month pending regulatory approval from the Securities and Commodities Authority, the UAE insurance Authority and the Central Bank.

"Considering the current market conditions, we had to reach out to a different kind of investor base than offerings in the past," Mr Maaiteh said. "With more than 65 per cent of the investors subscribed being institutional, IPOs are no longer a retail game," he added.

Wataniya's founding shareholders include Abu Dhabi National Islamic Finance, which is a subsidiary of NBAD, in addition to Abu Dhabi National Insurance, Abu Dhabi National Energy and Aldar Properties.

Last month, Insurance House's Dh66 million IPO ended a two year drought of public offerings in the UAE.

"It is apparent that reasonable sized IPOs are the way forward. This is what we need today to encourage participation of many investors and bring liquidity to the markets," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, the chief investment officer at CAPM Investment in Abu Dhabi.