It’s part of a broader plan announced last November by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the son of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to list 10 state-owned industries on the stock exchange to bolster its profile and raise new capital for the skyscraper. bordered emirate.
But so far, results have been mixed for investors, as Dubai’s electricity utility now trades barely higher than its opening and free zone operator TECOM just below.
Salik began charging drivers on the emirate’s massive Sheikh Zayed Road highway in 2007. Today, there are eight gates that charge drivers 4 dirhams ($1.09) when passing through radio frequency identification tags on their vehicles. The Government of Dubai would remain its largest shareholder with 80% of its shares after the IPO.
Officials initially described Salik, which can mean “openly passable” in Arabic, as a way to limit traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road during rush hour from the neighboring emirate of Sharjah, a dormitory community in Dubai. Today, however, some drivers routinely take other freeways or feeder roads to dodge tolls.
Still, Salik has been an important source of revenue for the city-state’s Roads and Transport Authority. Some 3.6 million vehicles in the UAE carry Salik labels. Last year, Salik reported profits of more than $353 million, on some 370 million billed trips through its doors, according to financial results it released in a newspaper ad on Monday.
The announcement also suggested that price increases could be considered for Salik, as the company has government permission to raise rates in line with inflation. The ad also said Salik was considering so-called “dynamic pricing” — like charging drivers more at peak times, for example.
A new wave of IPOs has hit the Gulf Arab states, likely fueled by the listing of the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco. Even long-haul carrier Emirates, the crown jewel of Dubai Inc., has been mooted as a possible IPO target.
Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.