Saudi Arabia’s Bourse May Weaken Ahead Of NCB IPO

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Investors in Saudi Arabia may start selling stocks on Monday and setting aside cash for the upcoming initial public offer of National Commercial Bank (NCB) after the lender said it would launch the subscription next month.

NCB is Saudi Arabia’s largest bank by assets and the offer, in which it plans to sell 15 percent of shares to the public and place a further 10 percent with a state fund, is expected to be one of the largest ever in the Gulf region.

Earlier this month, Dubai’s bourse came under pressure due to another large IPO as retail investors cashed out in order to buy into Emaar Malls Group, a subsidiary of Emaar Properties.

Saudi Arabia’s main index is up 29 percent this year, with about half of those gains made after July 22, when the kingdom’s regulator said it would open the stock market to direct foreign investment early next year.

Elsewhere in the region, bourses in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar may consolidate after rising and then pulling back on one-off foreign fund inflows at the end of last week, which were linked to the two countries’ upgrade to emerging market status by S&P Dow Jones and also to changes in FTSE indexes.

In Kuwait, Kuwaiti National Real Estate Company may gain after the firm said on Sunday it had agreed to restructure 154.4 million dinars ($537.6 million) of debt owed to an unidentified local bank.

The global backdrop is negative: Asian shares slipped on Monday as investors awaited data this week that could provide more evidence of a slowdown in China.

Source: Reuters