Response to alizz bank's IPO not as expected



Muscat: The much-awaited listing of alizz islamic bank yesterday did not enthuse investors as the share closed trading with a marginal gain of 0.98 per cent at 103 basias on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM).

Market analysts cited lack of clarity on the much-awaited Islamic banking regulation and the long gap between the bank's share offer and listing as major reasons for the listless activity.
The RO40 million IPO of the bank closed one-month subscription on October 21, but the shares were listed only yesterday.

"This is really disappointing," said a market analyst, who does not want to be named.
"There is not enough clarity on Islamic banking regulation," said Kushbu Badlani, Financial Analyst at Al Maha Financial Services. "The Islamic banks can not start operation until the regulation is in place," she added.

Another market analyst said that only 13.9 million shares (or 3.5 per cent of the 400 million shares offered to investors) were trading on the market, which shows lack of interest among retail investors. "It is comparatively low and it was predominantly an issue wherein institutions showed a lot of interest."The share opened at 102, and declined to 101, before recovering to closing at 103.  Taking in to account the brokerage fee, the gain is hardly anything.

According to market sources, since another Islamic bank - Bank Nizwa - is also traded at 104 baisa now, there is not much scope for alizz islamic bank shares to appreciate, until the regulation comes in.  Badlani said the share will pick up momentum only in the long run, when the bank starts operation and the Islamic banking activity picks up.

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