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UAE's Finablr hires banks for IPO, listing in London – sources

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By Stanley Carvalho and Dasha Afanasieva

ABUDHABI/LONDON (Reuters) – United Arab Emirates-based payments and foreign exchange company Finablr has hired JP Morgan and Barclays as global coordinators for its listing in the first half of 2019 on the London Stock Exchange, three sources told Reuters.

Several London IPOs have been cancelled in recent weeks with issuers blaming market conditions. Others, including Aston Martin <AML.L> and Kazatomprom <KAPq.L> have traded below their issue price.

The joint book runners for the initial public offering (IPO), will include local and international banks and will be finalised this week, the sources said, declining to be named as the matter is not yet public.

Finablr, the holding company for businesses including UAE Exchange, Travelex Holdings and Xpress Money plans to sell at least 30 percent of its shares to the public and channel the proceeds for expansion and acquisitions.

London was chosen for the listing because of liquidity and access to international investors, one of the sources said.

Finablr said it had no comment at this stage. JP Morgan and Barclays declined to comment.

Evercore Inc. is advising on the IPO.

The Finablr network has a global reach spanning over 160 countries and manages nearly $100 billion in volumes for its clients, according to its website.

UAE Exchange is aiming to increase its share of the $575 billion global remittance industry to more than 10 percent by 2020, from 6.75 percent, its chief executive told Reuters last year. Its biggest markets are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines. UAE Exchange bought Travelex, the world’s largest foreign exchange specialist, in 2016 for 800 million pounds ($1.03 billion).

UAE Exchange, founded in 1980 by Indian billionaire Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, has a presence in 31 countries with nearly 800 branches. Privately-owned Centurion Investments, part of Abu Dhabi’s KBBO Group, is a stake holder in UAE Exchange.

Shetty is also the founder of UAE-based NMC Health <NMC.L>, listed in London and part of the benchmark FTSE 100 Index.

($1 = 0.7773 pounds)

(Additional reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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