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Jafza companies attend Nasdaq Dubai seminar on capital raising through an IPO

PUBLISHED ON 27-Feb-2017
Jafza companies attend Nasdaq Dubai seminar on capital raising through an IPO

  • Seminar comes after new Jafza regulations allow companies to list 

  • Dynamic businesses in free zone can gain global visibility on exchange

Nasdaq Dubai and Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) have held a seminar for Jafza-based companies explaining how they can raise capital for growth through an initial public offering (IPO).

Senior executives of a select group out of the more than 7,000 companies operating in Jafza attended the seminar, at which Nasdaq Dubai as well as Emirates NBD Capital and Al Tamimi law firm gave presentations.

The workshop followed Jafza’s announcement last month that it has introduced new regulations to enable companies to carry out a stock exchange listing.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said: “We are committed to providing free zone companies with a legal environment that enables them to grow and prosper, including creating access to new capital-raising opportunities. We will further strengthen our strategic collaboration with Nasdaq Dubai for the benefit of a wide range of companies active in a variety of industry sectors.”

Hamed Ali, Chief Executive of Nasdaq Dubai, said: “Jafza hosts many dynamic and thriving businesses that may benefit from raising further capital to expand and reach their full potential. We look forward to learning more about their needs and how we can help them carry out an IPO on the international exchange in their own region, which will provide them with worldwide visibility as well as a global and regional investor base.”

The seminar covered the many advantages of an IPO, including raising capital while remaining free of debt, as well as information about the streamlined listing process and how to communicate effectively with investors. Case studies of previous listings were discussed.

Ahmed Al Qassim, CEO of Emirates NBD Capital said: “We are honored to host this prestigious event and discuss with businesses their plans for future growth. Free zone entities are an integral part of the UAE’s economy and are expanding exponentially and becoming market leaders in their fields.  As these entities mature and grow, their capital requirements change depending on what stage of growth they have reached.  Today the UAE economy provides free zone entities multiple routes to access both private and public capital. Given Emirates NBD Capital’s experience and regional market depth, we’d like to showcase the various options free zone entities have, to grow their business and access capital.”

Ahmed Ibrahim, Head of Equity Capital Markets at Al Tamimi& Company said: “The introduction of the new regulations, which allow Jafza companies to convert to a Public Company along with the pragmatic approach of Nasdaq Dubai will unleash a new breed of listed companies, will certainly enhance the market’s liquidity. Now Jafza companies have an unprecedented route to go public via an international recognised stock market platform. From now on, the question for Jafza companies will always be: “Why should we remain private, when the pathway has been paved to become public?” Al Tamimi & Company is delighted to share our experience and expertise in capital markets with Jafza companies and guide them along this pathway.”

Companies can carry out an IPO on Nasdaq Dubai by listing as little as 25% of their shares, allowing owners to keep control of the business. They need a market capitalisation of only 10 million US dollars or above, allowing a wide range of businesses to utilise the exchange as a listing venue.

The seminar supports the Dubai government's strategic objective of promoting a favourable environment for the growth of international and regional companies.

Jafza’s updated regulatory framework allows current FZE and FZCO companies to list their entities on a stock exchange by establishing a public listed company (PLC) structure.

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