Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 5 August 2020

Aramco IPO retail subscriptions reach $7.2bn

Subscription for the retail tranche of the offering closes on Thursday

The coronavirus pandemic did not impact its operations or its supply chains, Aramco said last week.​​​​​​ EPA
The coronavirus pandemic did not impact its operations or its supply chains, Aramco said last week.​​​​​​ EPA

Subscriptions for Saudi Aramco's initial public offering from retail investors reached 27 billion Saudi riyals (Dh26.5bn) on Tuesday, according to lead manager Samba Capital.

Retail investors subscribed for 845,101,020 of the shares offered at the top-end of the energy company's 30-32 riyal price range, the bank said in a note released late on Tuesday evening.

Subscription for the retail tranche of the offering closes on Thursday, the bank said.

Demand for the oil giant's 1.5 per cent share sale, of which 0.5 per cent is available to retail investors, was a "strong indicator" of the investor community's trust in the company's financial position, as well as rising level of financial awareness among Saudi citizens, said Rania Nashar, deputy chairwoman at Samba Capital.

Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil-exporting company, is offering 3 billion shares to retail and institutional investors on its domestic stock exchange, the Tadawul, the largest in the Arab world.

The company is valued between $1.6 and $1.7 trillion (Dh5.9tn to Dh6.2tn) based on the available price range. A flotation is expected early next month. On the basis of the lower-end of the range, Saudi Aramco would have a weighting in the Tadawul All-Share index of 9.1 per cent, which should attract 3.7bn riyals of passive inflows from foreign investors in the MSCI and FTSE Russell Emerging Market indexes, Al Rajhi bank said in a note earlier this week.

Saudi Aramco accounts for one in every eight barrels of crude globally and its IPO is a closely watched indicator for the kingdom's transformation under the Vision 2030, which seeks to move the economy away from its dependence on hydrocarbons.

The IPO is also key to fulfilling ambitious projects, such as the $500bn futuristic economic free zone, Neom, and the Red Sea Project, a mega-tourism attraction. The country is aiming to open up its tourism and entertainment sector.

Receipts from the sale will be channelled into the kingdom's sovereign Public Investment Fund, which has become a savvy global investor in recent years with stakes in technology firms such as ride-hailing app Uber, and electric car makers Tesla and Lucid.

Updated: November 27, 2019 01:19 PM

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