Orascom Construction, the contractor spun out of the Egyptian conglomerate, turned in a respectable first day’s trade on the Nasdaq Dubai stock exchange, with a 2.8 per cent rise to US$14.69.
Listing on Nasdaq Dubai marks the split of the construction and engineering businesses away from Orascom’s chemicals and fertilizer operations, which will remain listed in the Netherlands.
The demerger process will be completed when OC lists on the Cairo stock exchange in a few days.
“We are excited to be in Dubai,” said Osama Bishai, the chief executive. “The listing here will provide our institutional investors with a base that is denominated in dollars. We believe investors in the Middle East have a better understanding of construction.”
Mr Bishai added that Orsacom investors had tended to be long-term holders since it was first listed 15 years ago. But he said that he expected some Dutch investors to exit the stock once the shares were listed in Dubai and Cairo.
The value of shares traded in Dubai was about $7.8 million. Yesterday’s session high reached $14.75.
OC will begin trading in Cairo in the next couple of days. No new money has been raised in the Nasdaq listing, but new shares equivalent to 11 per cent of total market capital will be issued in Cairo.
The beginning of trading was marked by a bell-ringing ceremony by Mr Bishai; Essa Kazim, the governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre; and Hamed Ali, the chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai.
It is the Dubai market’s first deal under a strategy of cooperation that was signed last year with the Egyptian stock market authorities to enable common listings.