DP World in listing delay

DP World, the Dubai port operator, has put off a London Stock Exchange listing.

It is waiting for the merger of the two Dubai exchanges where its shares already trade before coming to London. The earliest it can now look for a dual listing is March 2011.

DP World had originally sought the listing to attract investors from outside the Middle East as its home bourse, Nasdaq Dubai, failed to attract sufficient liquidity.

It said in January could list on the LSE as soon as the second quarter of this year.

“We are taking a cautious approach and want to make sure that shares are fully fungible between London and Dubai,” a spokeswoman said.

In April, DP World, which runs operations at Tilbury and Southampton and is building the London Gateway container terminal approved an amendment allowing the firm to seek a listing on the LSE.

“The (dual listing) did not make much sense to most of the investment community here,” said Mohammed Yasin, Shuaa Securities chief executive, adding the company’s investor base in Gulf Arab region, not London.

The firm is one of the largest port operators in the world and is 77 per cent owned by the state-linked conglomerate Dubai World, which is undergoing a repackaging of its finances.

The ports operator has been seeking a London listing via sterling depositary interests.

In March, DP World’s chief executive Mohammed Sharaf said the LSE listing is not to raise additional capital but to provide additional liquidity.

DP World shares fell 6.8 per cent on the Nasdaq Dubai, following yesterday’s announcement that the listing would be delayed. However analysts said the impact on the shares would not be long term.