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

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The Saudi Stock Exchange, also known as the Tadawul All Share Index, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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 17-year-old shopping mall operator had a revenue of $576 million in 2018 — up from $511 million in 2016. Its future plans include the opening of four more malls and one extension in the coming 12 months, according to the company.

In a statement Tuesday, the company described the IPO as “laying the groundwork for the next chapter of our growth story.” It said the listing would give both domestic and international investors “the opportunity to invest in a dynamic company and industry well-positioned to benefit from the longer-term structural growth path within the retail sector in the Kingdom.”

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

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