Saudi shopping mall operator launches kingdom’s biggest IPO in five years

Finance

Major Saudi shopping mall developer Arabian Centres Company is launching an initial public offering that will be the kingdom’s biggest since 2014, when Saudi Arabia’s largest lender, National Commercial Bank, was listed.

The IPO, which was approved by Saudi financial regulator, Capital Market Authority, is offering 95,000,000 shares on the Tadawul, the Saudi stock exchange. It represents about 20 percent of the company’s share capital.

Arabian Centres Company — which operates, develops and owns 19 malls across 10 cities in Saudi Arabia — is owned by Fawaz Alhokair Group, whose majority shareholder is Saudi billionaire Fawaz Alhokair. Alhokair was the subject of an anti-graft shakeup led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in late 2017 that saw scores of businessmen and royals detained in the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh.

The listing comes as the kingdom works to implement liberalizing economic reforms and deepen its financial markets as part of Vision 2030, an initiative aimed at diversifying Saudi Arabia’s oil-dependent economy.

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