CAIRO: Ernst & Young released a report this week confirming that IPOs in the Middle East trailed off severely by the end of 2008, reflecting poor market conditions around the world.
The report cited dire statistics which said that only $22.4 million was raised by three IPOs in October and November of last year. This stands in stark contrast to the $6 billion raised over the same period the year before.
Through the first 11 months of 2008, though, IPOs were up 4.6 percent over the same stretch of time in 2007. This indicates that the year in IPOs began robustly before trailing off dramatically as economic woes worsened in the late summer.
Egypt represented 4.7 percent of total capital raised through IPOs in 2008 in the Middle East, making it the third most in the region. Only Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates represented a greater proportion.
“IPOs coming to the markets are being delayed, said Phil Gandier, a Parter at Ernst & Young Middle East in a statement. “Nevertheless companies are preparing for IPOs because the long term strategic rationale for such transactions has not changed.
Despite the downbeat report, Azhar Zafar, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, issued an optimistic outlook.
“Investor confidence and willingness to list have clearly been affected by current market conditions, he said. “Despite the drop in listings, the pipeline of companies preparing for IPOs remains robust.
“Although it is difficult to predict when IPO activity will recover, smart companies will use the current time to fully prepare for the turnaround in investor sentiment.