(Bloomberg) -- Dubai Taxi Co. received over 150 billion dirhams ($41 billion) in investor orders for its $315 million initial public offering, a record for the city, in a sign the Persian Gulf continues to be a bright spot for listings.
The IPO, which is Dubai’s first privatization in over a year, was 130 times covered, according to a statement on Wednesday. The company said it was the highest oversubscription level ever for a Dubai IPO. The institutional investor tranche was almost 135 times oversubscribed.
The emirate’s government sold 624.75 million shares, or a 25% stake, at 1.85 dirhams each, which is at the top of a marketed range, it said. The pricing values Dubai Taxi at 4.62 billion dirhams, and shares will start trading on Dec. 7.
The overwhelming level of demand for Dubai Taxi’s IPO underscores the chasm between the Gulf’s booming listings market and the gloomy sentiment globally, where share sales have been hobbled for the past two years by high interest rates and market volatility.
The energy-rich region has instead become a hotspot for IPOs thanks to elevated oil prices, strong local investor demand and government efforts to list state-owed companies.
Dubai is the Gulf’s best performing market this year, with the benchmark index up 20% so far on the back of a jump in property-related shares.
Excluding Dubai Taxi, about $8.4 billion has been raised through IPOs in the region this year, which accounts for over a third of the total listing volumes in all of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Dubai raised $8.3 billion by selling stakes in four state-owned companies, including the city’s main water and electricity utility, in 2022. The share sales are part of a plan unveiled about two years ago to list 10 state-owned companies to boost flagging trading volumes and match similar drives in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.
Dubai Taxi is the city’s second IPO of 2023. Family-owned money exchange firm Al Ansari Financial Services PJSC raised $210 million in March in what was one of the first private firms to list in the United Arab Emirates.
Citigroup Inc., Emirates NBD Capital and Bank of America Corp. are acting as as joint global coordinators on the IPO, while Rothschild & Co. is acting as independent financial adviser.
Read more: Middle East Sees Year-End IPO Rush, Despite War and Global Gloom
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