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Retail Investors Are Warming Up To The Aramco IPO

Saudi Arabia’s IPO for its state-run oil company has reached 24.07 billion Saudi riyals, or US $7.21 billion, according to Reuters, citing the IPO’s lead manager, Samba Capital.

The final day for the share sale is Thursday, November 28, Samba said.

The retail segment of the IPO has reached a total of 845,101,020 shares, with a total anticipated IPO value of $25.6 billion through a 1.5% stake sale.

Aramco has had a tough go of attracting foreign capital for its local IPO, with major institutional investors such as Petronas and Norway’s US$1 trillion Government Pension Fund Global deciding not to invest at all, and with Russia saying it will not make a big investment.

Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, is planning to take up to a $1.5 billion stake into the Aramco IPO, through a state-linked entity or entities, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing an anonymous source. Aramco representatives are meeting this week with some top Abu Dhabi funds and companies this week to discuss the possible investments, the sources said.

The media office for the Abu Dhabi government did not confirm that it was considering the stake, but if it did sink that much into the IPO, it would likely cover all the offerings for institutional side subscriptions, which were estimated at $15.57 billion as of November 21, according to Samba.

Saudi Arabian authorities have allegedly arrested nine high-profile people in the past several days for allegedly writing or speaking out in support of the Arab Spring uprisings, according to the Wall Street Journal—a poorly timed development on a day that coincided with today’s meetings with Abu Dhabi.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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