Saudi media giant in US$200m share debut

Shares in Saudi Research & Marketing Group, the Middle East’s largest publishing, advertising and printing conglomerate, rose by more than 100% when they debuted on the Kingdom’s stock market last week.

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By  Tim Addington Published  May 21, 2006

Shares in Saudi Research & Marketing Group, the Middle East’s largest publishing, advertising and printing conglomerate, rose by more than 100% when they debuted on the Kingdom’s stock market last week. The Riyadh headquarted company, whose interests include pan-Arab daily Asharq Al Awsat, and Saudi English daily Arab News, floated 24 million shares or 30% of its capital worth, SR800 (US$213 million), in an initial public offering last month. The IPO was almost four times over subscribed with 1.6 million investors buying SRMG shares at SR46 (US$12). Each subscriber was allocated 15 shares. SMRG shares closed on the first day of trading at SR95 (US$25) after reaching a high of SR110 (US$29). The company has a diverse range of businesses, including its publishing arm, Saudi Research & Publishing, Al Khaleejiah, its advertising and PR division, and distribution company Saudi Distribution. Meanwhile, SRMG has also signed up as a platinum sponsor of the Kingdom’s first Corporate Social responsibility Forum. The two-day event, which will be held in Riyadh on 28 to 30 May, is designed to give practical examples of CSR programmes from Saudi Arabia and around the world. More than 500 delegates are expected to attend the conference organised by the Arab Conferences Company. “The media plays a powerful role in bringing attention to the needs and requirements of the community and the efforts that are exerted by various organisations,” said Louay Nazer, chairman at ARC.

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