(Bloomberg) -- The United Arab Emirates’ biggest oil company offered a 5.5% stake in its drilling unit to investors in a rare such deal for the region.

State-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. plans to offload about 880 million shares in Adnoc Drilling Co. that will help raise liquidity and widen its shareholding, according to a statement. Investors had put in orders for all the shares being offered within an hour of the deal launching, terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News show.

Adnoc Drilling’s stock closed at 4.13 dirhams in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, valuing the offering at about 3.3 billion dirhams ($898 million). Adnoc is capitalizing on a rally in the shares, which have increased about 80% since their listing in October 2021 and hit an all-time high earlier this month. The emirate’s benchmark index, though, has under-performed most regional peers.

Secondary share sales have been rare in Gulf countries. The UAE has only seen three such deals, including when Adnoc raised $1.6 billion by selling stock and exchangeable bonds in its fuel retailing unit three years ago, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

But the region has been a bright spot for IPOs, with Saudi Arabia seeing a burst of activity in the last few weeks and several drawing many times more orders from investors than there are shares available. Dubai has hosted two initial share sales this year, and Abu Dhabi’s Alef Education is set to go public, marking the emirate’s first listing of the year.

Adnoc owns about 84% in Adnoc Drilling. The book-building for the offering is expected to close on May 23, according to the statement.

EFG Hermes, First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the offering.

--With assistance from Adveith Nair and Farah Elbahrawy.

(Updates with investors orders in the second paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.