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JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange (Tadawul) on Wednesday announced that it will become a holding company under the name Saudi Tadawul Group, with four subsidiaries.

The transformation comes amid preparations for the group’s initial public offering (IPO) expected later this year.

The four new Saudi Tadawul Group companies are Saudi Exchange (Tadawul), Securities Clearing Center Co. (Muqassa), Securities Depository Center Co. (Edaa) and a new company, Wamid.

Wamid will specialize in the group’s innovation and technological solutions arm, with Mohammed Al-Nouri as president.

It will contribute to diversifying the company’s scope, provide innovative technical solutions in various fields, and contribute to integrating the financial market structure.

Sarah Al-Suhaimi, chairperson of Saudi Tadawul Group, told a press conference on Wednesday that the plan to launch an IPO was previously announced in 2016.

“Tadawul was working day and night to accomplish many things that almost no other market had accomplished in such a short period. Now that the situation has stabilized, and after the board obtained the owner’s approval and the authority to restructure Tadawul and make it a holding group, the time has come to launch its IPO,” Al-Suhaimi said.

However, details about the structure and size of the IPO, and whether it will be open to foreign investors, will be announced after the company appoints a financial adviser, discusses the details with the owner, and obtains approvals from the financial market.

During the conference, the Tadawul Group named Khalid Al-Hussan, former CEO of Saudi Exchange, as group CEO, while Mohammed Al-Rumaih was named CEO of Saudi Exchange.

Al-Rumaih told Arab News that the conversion of Tadawul into a group was necessary for its future growth.

“We still have more plans and more achievements to make, and in order to do that we need to change our set-up into a group structure, which is the practice of the biggest exchanges globally,” he said.

Al-Rumaih added that the integration gives Tadawul flexibility to enhance and elevate its services, especially with the establishment of the new company Wamid.

The Tadawul CEO expects a good IPO pipeline on the exchange this year, based on recent requests and announcements.

“The number of IPO listings this year is expected to be bigger than last year in terms of numbers across all markets,” he said.

According to Al-Rumaih, since the beginning of this year Tadawul made four listings, and today it has four approvals that are not activated yet, meaning that at least four are expected to launch by the second quarter.

Al-Rumaih also said that the Capital Market Authority has about 30 IPO applications under review.

Foreign participation is also expected to rise as Tadawul strengthens the attractiveness of the market and raises the number of IPOs, in addition to launching initiatives to increase the inflow locally and internationally.

Tadawul Co. was established in 2007 with SR1.2 billion ($320 million) capital, divided into 120 million shares, which are owned by the Public Investment Fund.

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