DUBAI: The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority said Wednesday it had raised 22.3 billion dirhams ($6.1 billion) for the Gulf's second-largest IPO since 2019. The 18 percent stake in the emirate's state-owned DEWA is the biggest IPO in the Gulf region since that of Saudi oil giant Aramco.

Some nine billion shares will be listed from April 12 on the Dubai stock exchange, with the price set at 2.48 dirhams ($0.68). The deal, in which more than 65,000 institutional and retail investors participated, values the company at 124 billion dirhams ($33.9 billion), the statement said.

The record for the largest public listing in the Gulf, and in the world, is held by Saudi oil company Aramco, which raised $29.4 billion by listing 1.7 percent of its shares on the Riyadh Stock Exchange in December 2019. DEWA CEO Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer said the strong demand for the company's shares, which reached 315 billion dirhams ($85.7 billion), was a testament to "the attractiveness of Dubai as a global capital market".

The emirate, which is less oil-rich than its neighbors, has diversified its economy by focusing on finance, tourism and trade. But it is facing increased competition in the region, notably from Saudi Arabia, which is also seeking to reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons. - AFP