Saudis shop at a supermarket at the Panorama Mall in the capital Riyadh on May 22, 2020.
Fayez Nureldine | AFP | Getty Images
SINGAPORE — Shares of Saudi Arabian retailer BinDawood Holding rose on Wednesday as the firm made its market debut on the kingdom’s stock exchange.
BinDawood Holding’s stock opened at 105.60 Saudi riyals on the Tadawul, hitting its daily limit. That’s up from its offering price of 96 riyals ($25.60), which was at the top end of the 84 riyals to 96 riyals per share range.
The supermarket operator, which is listing 20% of its shares publicly for the first time, saw a subscription of 4,870% of the total offered shares.
Ahead of the market open, Ahmad BinDawood, chief executive officer at BinDawood, said there was “very high demand” from both institutional and retail investors, and that they trust the company’s strategy and ability to deliver results.
He told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” that the current environment is “definitely” a good time for the company to go public despite the ongoing virus situation.
The company’s revenue in the first half of 2020 increased 22% from a year ago, driven in part by higher demand for groceries and home consumption when the kingdom was under curfew due to the coronavirus crisis.
“During the pandemic, the sector showed its resilience,” BinDawood said. “We are lucky that we are in the (fast-moving consumer goods) grocery retail, where we saw very high demand coming from the customer side.”
He also said he is optimistic about demand after the virus situation is put under control.
The firm runs 73 BinDawood and Danube stores across Saudi Arabia, and has more than 10,000 employees. It plans to open an average of six stores a year to reach 100 outlets by 2024.
The sale of 22.86 million shares in its initial public offering raised around $585 million. Buyers include private funds, public funds, government institutions and individual investors.
Matthew Benson, MENA strategy and transactions leader at EY, in June said there has been a “marked increase” in companies pursuing listings in the Gulf region after Saudi Aramco’s IPO in December.
The press release also said Saudi Arabia continued to lead such activity in the Middle East and North Africa in the first quarter of 2020.
Two companies listed in the kingdom in that period, raising more than $745 million. Oman and Egypt saw one IPO each in the first three months of 2020.