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Friday, January 22, 2010

Oman's Al Khalili Group plans to sell 40%

by Dinesh Nair and Saleh Al Shaibany

Friday, 22 January 2010

Oman's Al Khalili Group, a family-owned diversified industrial group, is planning to sell a 40 percent stake in an initial public offering, the lead manager of the issue said.

Pricing for the offering was expected to be completed in a few weeks, said Deputy General Manager Loay Bataineh of Oman Arab Bank, the lead manager of the issue.

Bataineh did not say what the issue price of the offer could be or how much the company was planning to raise.

The company has a paid-up capital of 15 million Omani Riyals and has 150 million shares outstanding, the banker told Reuters. On that basis, a 40 percent sale could bring in about 60 million shares to the open market.

Al Khalili Group has interests in construction, electrical equipment, hardware and information technology, according to its website.

Last year, four major Omani companies - Hasan Juma Backer Trading and Contracting, Oman Merchant Bank, Al Argan Towell Investment Company and Barr Al Jissah Resort - all shelved plans for bourse listings due to weak market conditions.

The total value of IPOs in the Middle East and North Africa region fell 83 percent in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis, according to a report by consultancy Ernst & Young.

Globally, IPO activity is charging ahead, riding on investors' increased risk appetite. (Reuters)

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