09:16 GMT +314 December 2019
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     An employee in a branded helmet is pictured at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019

    Retail Investors Elbow Their Way to Saudi Aramco Table in ‘World’s Largest IPO’

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    Saudi Aramco is selling 1.5% of its shares in what is expected to beat Alibaba’s record of five years ago and become the world’s biggest initial public offering (IPO).

    Saudi Aramco’s saw the order book for the retail portion of its IPO fully covered one day before the end of the retail subscription period, Samba Capital, one of the global IPO coordinators, has said.

    According to Samba Capital, 3.7 million investors submitted bids to buy shares in Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer and most profitable company.

    The individual subscription reached 32.57 billion riyals, or $8.7 billion, by 17.00 GMT on Wednesday, 27 November. Investors had until today to sign up. The trading is expected to begin on 11 December.

    The world’s biggest initial public offering so far belongs to Alibaba; the Chinese e-commerce giant raised $25 billion in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.

    Announcing plans for Aramco to go public earlier this month, the Saudi government said it would sell 1.5 percent of the company’s shares on the stock exchange in Riyadh at a price ranging from $8.00 to $8.50 per share.

    This means that at the high end of the range, the Aramco IPO is expected to surpass Alibaba’s record.

    With the retail portion now covered, the Saudi company is now seeking to lure institutional investors in the region. Aramco executives have reportedly met with investors in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Kuwait’s sovereign fund is said to be considering the offer already.

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to use the money from the IPO to invest in non-oil industries and generally diversify the oil-dependent Saudi economy.

    Tags:
    shares, IPO, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco
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