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Saudi Aramco Shares To Start Trading On December 11

Following the largest-ever initial public offering, Saudi Aramco’s shares will be listed and start trading on the main market of the Saudi oil exchange on Wednesday, December 11, the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul, said in a statement on Friday.

On Thursday, Saudi Aramco announced the final offer price for the offering. Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant priced its IPO at the top end of the range—32 Saudi riyals ($8.53), which made the share listing the largest in history, surpassing the US$25-billion IPO of Alibaba on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.

At the start of the book-building process, Aramco had set an indicative price range of 30-32 Saudi riyals, (US$8-$8.53), per share, in its long-awaited IPO. The upper end of the pricing range gives the company a total value of some US$1.7 trillion.  

When its shares start trading on the Saudi stock exchange next week, Aramco will become the world’s largest listed firm by market capitalization, easily beating Apple whose market cap was some US$1.18 trillion early on Friday.

The offering size of 3,000,000,000 shares, accounting for 1.5 percent of the share capital, raised US$25.6 billion for the Saudi oil giant.

If a Purchase Option is exercised in full, the total offering size will be

3,450,000,000 shares, and the sum raised with the IPO will grow to US$29.4 billion, Saudi Aramco said in a statement late on Thursday.

Although the US$1.7 trillion valuation at pricing at the top of the range would make Aramco the most valuable listed company in the world, the valuation will still be US$300 billion short of the coveted US$2-trillion valuation that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sought for years.

Saudi Arabia also has to rely on domestic interest in its oil giant, and possibly on large institutional investors from its Persian Gulf friends, as foreign fund managers have not been too keen to invest in the world’s most profitable oil company.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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