Gulf Cement’s IPO will run until 16 April and will be open only to Qatari nationals. The 63.2 million shares are priced at QR 10 ($2.70), equivalent to 80 per cent of the company’s QR 800 million ($213.9 million) capital. Minimum subscription is 250 shares and the maximum is 10,000. Commercial Bank of Qatar is acting as lead manager.

Gulf Cement was established in late 2005 to build a 5,000-tonne-a-day clinker line. The next IPO to be staged in Qatar is set to cover shares in Gulf Commercial Bank, a new conventional bank likely to be capitalised at about $1,000 million. The sale is due to come to market by the middle of the year (MEED 13:1:06).

In Saudi Arabia, the IPO of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG) was launched on 8 April, lead managed by Samba Financial Group. On offer is 30 per cent of capital, or 24 million shares. The share price – including the premium – has been reduced to SR 46 ($12.30) from the SR 230 ($61.30) originally announced. The reduction follows the authorities’ decision in late March to split the par value of shares to SR 10 ($2.70) from SR 50 ($13.3 – MEED 31:3:06).

The General Organisation for Social Insurance in early April acquired a 5.6 per cent stake in SRMG, which will be cut to 4 per cent after the IPO.

Unusually, the other focus of IPO activity in the coming months is set to be Bahrain, especially since the authorities in the UAE plan to enforce a staggering of future share sales in the federation to reduce secondary market volatility. The shareholders of Albaraka Banking Group in late March approved plans to raise capital by $600 million through an IPO of 30 million shares by the end of April. Gulf International Bank is the financial adviser (MEED 6:1:06).