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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Conradie.

Saudi Cargo Firm SAL’s $678 Million IPO Sells Out in Hours

Cargo firm SAL Saudi Logistics Services Co. received orders for all shares in its Riyadh initial public offering hours after books opened on the deal, indicating ongoing investor demand for listings in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia’s biggest airline and another shareholder said on September 25th that they were seeking to raise as much as 2.54 billion riyals ($678 million) from the IPO. Order books were covered across the price range within a few hours, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

The deal is the latest indicator of robust sentiment in what is usually the Persian Gulf’s biggest and busiest listings market after a slow first half. A drop in Saudi Arabia’s stock market from the second half of 2022 through to March 2023 on weaker oil prices helped put a brake on listing activity, with offerings only picking up again at the start of the summer.

Earlier on September 25, Lumi Rental Co. surged by the 30% limit on trading debut. And oil driller ADES Holding Co., backed by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, last week drew $76.5 billion in orders for its $1.2 billion IPO — the country’s largest so far in 2023. Saudi Arabian Airlines Corp., also known as Saudia, and Tarabot Air Cargo Services Ltd. are offering 24 million shares — a 30% stake — at 98 riyals to 106 riyals each in the cargo firm, according to a statement. The price range values SAL at as much as 8.48 billion riyals.

The book-building period for institutional investors will run until October 1 while retail buyers will be able to place orders from October 11 to October 13. Saudia currently owns 70% of SAL, while Tarabot owns 30% of the firm. Crude prices have rallied strongly this quarter as Saudi Arabia and Russia extended their production curbs through the end of the year, while the benchmark Tadawul Index has climbed about 10% from its March low.

Saudi Arabia has outlined an ambition to become a global supply chain hub and develop one of the largest airports in the world in Riyadh, as part of its plans to diversify the economy.

SAL is the leading cargo handling player in Saudi Arabia, with a roughly 95% market share and also handles transit and export shipments. The company had revenue of 1.22 billion riyals ($325 million) in 2022 and net income of 362 million riyals. In the first half of this year, SAL posted revenue growth of 15% year-on-year.

HSBC Holdings Plc’s Saudi unit has been appointed as sole financial advisor, bookrunner, global coordinator, lead manager and underwriter for the IPO.

Source: Bloomberg

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