Saudi's ACWA Power jumps 30% on stock market debut

Arab World Materials 11 October 2021 17:47 (UTC +04:00)
Saudi's ACWA Power jumps 30% on stock market debut

Shares in Saudi Arabian renewable energy utility ACWA Power International jumped 30% on their market debut on Monday after a $1.2 billion IPO, the kingdom's biggest since Saudi Aramco's massive public offering in 2019, Trend reports with reference to Reuters.

Shares in ACWA, which is partly owned by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF, rose to 72.80 Saudi riyals ($19.41) in early trading, up from their initial public offering price of 56 riyals a share.

ACWA builds, operates and invests in renewable energy plants and becomes the only renewables company listed in Saudi Arabia. It priced its IPO at the top of the range last month, successfully raising $1.2 billion from investors, the biggest since, but dwarfed by, Saudi Aramco's $29.4 billion IPO.

The surge in ACWA's share price on its debut continued a trend seen in IPOs in Saudi Arabia, which are being oversubscribed from 50 to 200 times, said Mohammed Ali Yasin, chief strategy officer at Al Dhabi Capital.

"The appetite for participating in the IPOs and the book building process is big. That pushes huge amounts to be subscribed, which results in lower allocations, which means people need to come back to the market to build their positions," Yasin said.

ACWA sold 11.1% of its existing shares in the IPO, reducing Public Investment Fund's (PIF) stake to 44%.

Saudi Arabia's stock market has risen by more than 33% this year, helped by higher oil prices and an economic recovery from last year's COVID-19 linked contraction.

A slew of listings are expected to come to Riyadh's bourse over the next 12 months, including the stock exchange Tadawul itself, and the specialty chemicals business of Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

Saudi Arabia's Capital Markets Authority said in September that around 45 companies were waiting for approval to list.

ACWA, in addition to the initial public offering, has said it will allocate about 4.14 million shares, representing 0.57% of the company, to certain employees of the company and its subsidiaries as part of its employee IPO grant plan.