Middle Eastern equity capital markets have captured investors’ attention the last 2 years, as the only truly active IPO market in the world throughout 2022 and 2023 – with close to 50 IPOs listing each of those years.

To learn more about GCC equity markets, we are joined by Wassim Al Khatib, the CEO of Lazard in MENA. Lazard is an independent financial adviser, advising companies and their owners on all aspects of corporate finance, including organizing the IPO process. Before Lazard, Wassim was the CEO of Citigroup in Saudi Arabia, and before that the Head of Investment Banking at NCB Capital.

With Wassim, we explore the reforms and opening of GCC capital markets to foreign investors, the IPO activity and diversification of the stock exchange beyond oil & gas, and the question of listing location for local, innovative companies.

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¬†ūüó®ÔłŹ Some of our favourite quotes from our conversation:

  • ‚ÄúCompleting an IPO is not the end journey. It is a checkpoint in a long-term journey for any corporate that wants to tap into funding.”
  • “What I always tell clients is that an IPO journey can be lengthy. And the IPO execution windows become extremely important to tap into, and that can only happen if you are already prepared for that process.”
  • “Even though we have to a certain extent been insulated from the dormant capital markets in the western world, executing IPOs in the region […] is becoming a lot more complex and sophisticated, because how you price that transaction and how much you can raise will somehow be influenced by how the global investors feel […] – and that conversation becomes a lot more savvy in terms of bid and ask – and this is where the quality of the bankers and the issuers becomes even more important to make sure that the transaction is well priced and still leaves something on the table for investors.”

 

Disclaimer: this discussion is not financial advice, nor an investment recommendation, nor a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instruments, or an offer for financial services or any other transaction. The information contained in the recording have no contractual value and are destined for an informational purpose only. Amundsen Investment Management and the participants on this podcast may have holdings in the companies being discussed.