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  • Saudi Aramco logo is pictured at the oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia Oct. 12, 2019.

    Saudi Aramco logo is pictured at the oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia Oct. 12, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 December 2019

About 4.9 million people applied for shares with a total value of US$12.5 billion. Institutional investors, who have until next Wednesday to submit bids.

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Aramco’s initial public offering has drawn US$44.3 billion in bids so far from institutional and retail investors, about 1.7 times the amount the government is seeking to raise as of Nov. 29.

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Saudi Arabia Values Aramco At $1.7 Trillion, World’s Possible Biggest IPO

Institutional book-building closes on Dec. 4, before the IPO’s final pricing the next day. The Saudi government plans to raise more than US$25 billion by selling a 1.5 percent stake in the company at a valuation of around US$1.7 trillion.

There may be a last-minute surge from institutional investors, but according to Bloomberg so far the share sale hasn’t been as well subscribed as some other IPOs in the country. 

About 4.9 million people applied for shares with a total value of US$12.5 billion. Institutional investors, who have until next Wednesday to submit bids, have made subscriptions for around US$31 billion worth of shares, Samba Capital, one of the deal’s lead managers said. 

Of that, 10.5 percent came from non-Saudi investors. Aramco won’t sell its shares directly to investors in the United States and other markets, as the IPO will be restricted to Saudis and those foreign institutions permitted to invest in the kingdom’s stock market.

The upcoming sale of shares in the oil giant, whose formal name is Saudi Arabian Oil Co, comes about nine weeks after the crippling attacks on its oil facilities, underlining Saudi Arabia's determination to push on with the listing regardless. 

Aramco said it does not expect the Sept. 14 attack, which targeted plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry and initially halved its production, would have a material impact on its business, operations and financial condition.

The company accounted for about one in every eight barrels of crude oil produced globally from 2016 to 2018.

Its net income for the third quarter of 2019 amounted to US$21.1 billion, according to Reuters calculations, dwarfing the income for the same period of oil giants like Exxon Mobil Corp, which was just over US$3 billion. 

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