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Saudi stock market cashes in on its own growth

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An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

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LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Saudi’s bourse is cashing in on its own success. Riyadh’s Tadawul on Sunday priced an initial public offering of 30% of its shares at the top end of the previously published range, implying a valuation of 12.6 billion riyals ($3.4 billion). With orders worth 121 times the shares on offer, demand was not quite as exuberant as for the recent listing of ACWA Power (2082.SE) read more . But it is still indicative of a handy market position.

Not counting Tadawul’s own IPO, eight Saudi groups have listed on the domestic exchange this year, according to Refinitiv. That will further boost the bourse’s revenue, which doubled to 1.1 billion riyals between 2018 and 2020. A key driver is the $200 billion Riyadh hopes to raise by partially privatising state-owned groups to pay for the country’s diversification away from oil. Both ACWA and Tadawul are currently owned by Saudi’s $430 billion Public Investment Fund. The pipeline of potential stock offerings helps explain why the Saudi exchange’s implied valuation exceeds 17 times its likely 2021 EBITDA – below New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE.N) but ahead of European rivals like Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE). (By George Hay)

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Editing by Peter Thal Larsen and Oliver Taslic

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