Sheikh Hamdan launches ‘Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market’ to support SMEs

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on October 27, 2020

Growth Market to be launched in early 2021 in line with first IPOs.

The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has launched the Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market, a new market under the umbrella of Nasdaq Dubai. This initiative aims to help young businesses and small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) achieve the next phase of their expansion by raising capital through an initial public offering (IPO).

The step falls under the framework of the Dubai Future District initiatives, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai as the largest specialised area in the region for creating the future economy by providing an investment, technical, legislative, service and incentive environment. The district links Emirates Towers with the Dubai World Trade Centre and the Dubai International Financial Centre.

The Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market, will enable fast-growing companies to achieve a streamlined and cost-effective listing on the region’s international exchange. As part of the Dubai Future District project, the Growth Market will welcome not only companies in the UAE, but also list companies from around the world to help them expand in the region and internationally.

“SMEs are a key engine of our national economy. The launch of the Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market is a strategic step that will support this vital sector by opening new horizons for its companies and providing them with investment resources to expand their business and enhance their attractiveness in global markets," Sheikh Hamdan said.

He underlined the value of supporting small and medium-sized companies and its contribution to the overall economic development.

Nasdaq Dubai intends to launch the Growth Market in early 2021 in line with the first IPOs. A number of companies have already appointed advisors to begin the IPO process. Companies that are not ready for an IPO will be able to join the Private Market segment of the Growth Market.

Like Nasdaq Dubai’s main equity market, the Growth Market will allow owners of an enterprise to carry out their IPO while selling as little as 25% of the shares in their company, enabling them to keep control.

“The launch of the Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market will be a milestone for the capital markets of Dubai and the region, by helping to expand the business activity and visibility of companies that choose to list on it wherever in the world they are based,” said Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Chairman of Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

“The Growth Market is set to play a key role in the future of capital-raising and the channeling of investment to enterprising companies to enable them to succeed during all phases of the business cycle supported by their Dubai listing,” he added.

The Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market allows SMEs to list their businesses if they are valued below $250 million. A minimum operating history of just one year is required, compared to three years for Nasdaq Dubai’s main market.

Nasdaq Dubai is collaborating with government bodies, UAE free zones and expert advisory companies as partners to launch the Growth Market. The advisors will include financial advisory firms, investment banks, law and accounting firms which will provide tailored support including pre-IPO awareness and readiness exercises.

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