Marka’s Dubai Financial Market debut set for September 25

Shares will begin trading at Dh1 each, as set by the regulator under traditional listing rules.

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Shares in Marka, the retail and leisure start-up backed by some of the most prominent names on the UAE business scene, will begin trading on the Dubai Financial Market on September 25, the company said yesterday.

The company, which has deals with some of the world's leading brands to run designer outlets and restaurants in the UAE's booming malls , has received final clearance from the Securities and Commodities Authority, the federal regulator, to list.

Shares will begin trading at Dh1 each, as set by the regulator under traditional listing rules. Marka is listing 55 per cent of its capital in an offer that was 36 times oversubscribed when it was announced earlier this year, attracting Dh10.35 billion worth of applications.

“We are delighted to announce that Marka has been granted the final approvals by the SCA to list its shares and commence trading,” said Jamal Al Hai, the chairman of Marka. Because of its lack of trading history, the company needed approval as a “greenfield” IPO, which are unusual in the UAE.

Nick Peel, Marka’s recently appointed chief executive and the former retail director of Arsenal football club, said the announcement of the trading date was an “important milestone” for shareholders.

“It gives them the opportunity to benefit for the first time from one of the fastest growing and strongest sectors of the UAE’s economy,” he said.

“I am confident that the retail partnerships we have secured to date and the ongoing implementation of our focused growth strategy will create long-term value for Marka’s shareholders and customers.”

Marka is the first retail IPO in the DFM’s history, beating the Emaar Malls debut by a week.

The DFM said last week it was considering forming a new sector in its general index to reflect the increasing weight of investment in retail.

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