Goldman Sachs backs Saudi Arabian bourse to top ME

Even as the United Arab Emirates pushes more companies to go public, Saudi Arabia’s stock market will remain the busiest in the Middle East, according to Goldman Sachs Group.

The Persian Gulf, according to John Wilkinson, the bank’s London-based director of emerging-market equities capital markets, will have a “standout year” in 2021. Initial public offerings by Acwa Power, Solutions by STC and Saudi Tadawul Group Holding in Saudi Arabia, as well as several others in Abu Dhabi, pushed the Middle East and North African equity issuance to about $23bn.

Most of the marquee offerings have posted strong post-IPO performances, sparking further interest from international investors, Wilkinson said.

Saudi Arabia remains “the biggest driver for Middle East [equity capital markets],” he said. “However, we’re seeing Abu Dhabi Inc becoming more active and obviously the comments out of Dubai’s government will drive bigger volumes from the UAE.”

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