Stadium sell-out for Gulf bank IPO
IPOs in the Gulf are so popular that one investment bank has found a novel way to avoid crushes as investors scramble to register for shares. Qatar National Bank, which is arranging the $1.1 billion IPO for Al Rayyan Bank, hired a stadium in Doha for a two-week period in January.
Al Rayyan Bank will not become operational until the second half of the year but this did not deter Gulf investors, who had to either travel to Qatar or send their passports through a friend or associate, as there is no system of electronic applications. One hopeful investor is reported to have turned up with 100 passports in a desperate attempt not to miss out on allocations.
The IPO will be the largest in the Gulf, although the lack of listings in the region means that almost all deals are massively oversubscribed – a far cry from some European companies, which have just about managed to limp across the line in recent years. Wembley Stadium, anyone?