Abu Dhabi’s Senaat Said to Seek Listing Approval This Year

Abu Dhabi’s Senaat, which owns companies including National Petroleum Construction Co., is seeking approval from the emirate for an initial public offering this year, two people familiar with the matter said.

The deal is awaiting a decision from the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, which may take about a month, the people said, declining to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The council is the emirate’s local executive authority with the power to make all project-related decisions such as negotiations and change orders, according to its website.

Senaat, which hired HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. for the IPO last year, plans to sell shares in the second half or early 2015, according to the people. The company will list the shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, one of the people said. A spokeswoman for Senaat declined to comment, as did a JPMorgan spokeswoman.

Senaat is among United Arab Emirates’ companies planning share sales after stock values in the region surged. Dubai’s DFM General Index is the world’s best performer this year among 94 equity gauges tracked by Bloomberg, with a gain of 24 percent, while Abu Dhabi’s benchmark advanced 15 percent.

$1 Billion IPOs

Senaat, which also owns Emirates Steel Industries PJSC, posted a 7 percent increase in revenue to 12.3 billion dirhams ($3.3 billion) in 2012, while assets rose 8 percent to 25.4 billion dirhams, according to the company’s website. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization climbed 8 percent to 2.3 billion dirhams in the period.

Morgan Stanley, owner of the world’s biggest brokerage, said earlier this month it expects the return of IPOs worth more than $1 billion in the Persian Gulf this year amid the stock market rally. Gulf Marine Services Plc, an Abu Dhabi-based operator of support vessels for the oil and gas industry, plans to raise $100 million from an IPO on the London Stock Exchange, it said Feb. 17.

Qatar Petroleum raised 3.2 billion riyals ($879 million) last month selling shares in its Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding unit, while Dubai-based Damac Real Estate Development Ltd. generated $348 million in December through the sale of global depositary receipts in London.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council generated IPOs valued at $1.1 billion last year, compared with $15.4 billion in 2007 before the global financial crisis, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Arabtec Holding, the largest listed construction contractor in the United Arab Emirates, said Feb. 9 it will set up Arabtec Capital in the Dubai International Financial Centre to provide financial and public offering services.

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