The initial public offering (IPO) of National Takaful Company (Watania), which opened on April 18, closed on Monday after receiving an overwhelming response from investors with the issue being oversubscribed seven times, Watania said in a statement. At the close of the public offer, applications for 590 million shares were received for the 82.5 million shares made available to the public. Approximately 20 million shares, or 13.33 per cent of the total share capital, were open only to UAE individual national retail investors and 62 million shares were made available to UAE, GCC and other retail and institutional investors. Sentiment \"The IPO is a good sign for a change in investor sentiments. Takaful offerings generally have appetite from retail investors and other insurance companies, specifically,\" Tariq Qaqish, Director and Fund Manager at Al Mal Capital, told Gulf News by tele-phone. \"We would like to see more IPOs coming from sectors besides financial and real estate to be able to properly diversify investor portfolios and reduce the overall risk,\" Qaqish added. Watania\'s founding shareholders — Abu Dhabi National Islamic Finance (Adnif), Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (Adnic), Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) and Aldar Properties (Aldar) — have subscribed to shares worth Dh67.5 million, representing 45 per cent of the total share capital of Dh150 million. The IPO was for the remaining 55 per cent of the shares, valued at Dh82.5 million. Public response \"The strong public response to the Watania IPO represents a positive expression of public confidence in the future of Sharia-compliant insurance in the UAE and in the strength and credibility of the founding shareholders,\" said Aref EIsmail Al Khoury, Chairman of the Watania founders committee. UAE national retail investors were allowed to subscribe up to 5,000 shares with a guaranteed allotment of 2,000 shares per application whereas UAE, GCC, and other retail and institutional investors could apply for a minimum of 10,000 shares, with additional subscriptions in multiples of 1,000 shares. The allotment will be made on a pro-rata basis for this tranche and refunds will open on May 15.