MEPCO first Saudi issuer to join Closir

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September 01, 2018

Dr. Mohamed Saleh Darweesh, chief financial officer at MEPCO.

The Middle East Paper Co. (MEPCO), a vertically integrated paper manufacturer, has partnered with global platform Closir, to enhance corporate access for regional and international investors. MEPCO is the first Saudi company to join the Closir platform. The engagement comes at a time when the Saudi equity market is in the spotlight for global investors, having been upgraded to Emerging Market status by index provider MSCI. Approximately $1.9 trillion in assets are benchmarked to the MSCI Emerging Market Index as of Dec. 31, 2017.

Closir is a technology platform that connects listed companies in emerging markets to institutional investors, allowing them to approach targets and organize meetings, roadshows and virtual conferences. The tool is used by major institutional investors, including mutual, sovereign, pension, hedge funds, across financial centers in Europe, US and Asia, as well as leading listed companies in emerging markets.

Dr. Mohamed Saleh Darweesh, chief financial officer at MEPCO, said: “Having delivered improved performance during the last 12 months, we’ve focused on bringing our IR activities in line with international best practice. We have engaged more meaningfully with investors and analysts within Saudi Arabia and further afield, through conference participation, one-on-one engagements, briefings, and enhancements to our IR tools and reporting mechanisms.

“Now is the time to join a platform that will enable us to increase corporate access for the global investment community. Closir is the obvious partner to support us in this objective, and we look forward to working with them.”

MEPCO has been listed on Tadawul, the Saudi stock exchange, since May 2015. With a market capitalization of SR1.2 billion ($319.4 million), the company reported net profit of SR57 million for H1 2018, improving by 166 percent on the corresponding period in 2017.

Michael Chojnacki, managing director and co-founder of Closir, said: “Following recent developments in the Saudi market, global emerging funds are studying its investment opportunities more closely, many of them for the first time. In the light of recent MiFID II regulations, companies are becoming more proactive in targeting and organizing meetings directly with new investors and by joining the Closir platform, MEPCO has become the first Saudi company to adopt global best practice in this regard.”

This article was first published in  ARAB NEWS

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