The UAE’s first initial public offering (IPO) of the year has been indefinitely delayed.

The listing was scheduled to launch on the ADX in early June and raise over AED1bn ($272m).

“I have spoken to the lead manager who is in charge of the listing and they have not yet set a new date,” says Elie Ghanem, head of market and product development, ADX.

With the summer lull setting in and the onset of Ramadan in mid-August, Ghamem says it is likely it will be delayed until the fourth quarter of this year, but concedes that it may now be cancelled altogether.

“To be frank, I’m not certain that they are still willing to launch the IPO so we’ll have to wait to see what their final decision is,” he says.

On 24 May this year, Sameer al-Ansari, chief executive of Dubai-based investment bank Shuaa Capital, said it was working as the lead manager on the listing for an unidentified Abu Dhabi-based company and that he was “quite confident this IPO will open up the market.”

A source close to the matter who asked not to be named has told MEED that the company is from the services sector.

With the exception of Saudi Arabia, which has had nine listings, the Gulf IPO market has struggled for revival in 2010 as tighter bank lending and cash flow problems have hit regional firms.

At the end of June, Abu Dhabi government-owned Aabar Investments announced it is seeking approval from its shareholders to delist from the ADX, which it said was “an essential step in the life of the company.”

The move has surprised investors and analysts given the thin trading volumes on local exchanges.

To date this year, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), have declined by 12.4 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively.