Saudi Aramco surpasses Alibaba in world’s largest IPO, raises $25.6 billion

Saudi Arabia’s state-controlled oil firm, Aramco has raised $25.6 billion in the largest Initial Public Offering (IPO) ever, putting the value of the company at $1.7 trillion, higher than Apple ($1.2 trillion), Microsoft and Alibaba ($1.1 trillion).

According to Punch, the IPO was launched on Thursday, with pricing at the high end of the target range, raising $25.6 billion but falling short of the $2 trillion mark set by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Aramco will reportedly begin the trading of 3 billion units of shares on the 12th of December, on the local Tadawul Stock Exchange at a starting price of $8.53.

Meanwhile, with the IPO accounting for just 1.5% of Saudi Aramco’s authorized share capital, the oil giant surpassed the $25 billion raised by the Chinese online trading group Alibaba by $0.6 billion when it debuted on Wall Street in 2014.

However, it was reported that most of the new shareholders are mostly Saudis, as investors around the world have remained unsure about investing in the state-controlled oil firm due to concerns around transparency, governance practices, security and targeted valuation, as well as profitability in the face of harsh environmental policies around the world.

Saudi Aramco, which is expected to raise additional funds from international markets disclosed that it depended on the reception the company received on the local Tadawul Stock Exchange. In a bid to lure investors, Aramco pledged to pay $75 billion in dividends in 2020, promising additional free shares if investors hold their shares for some time.

The company’s share price is expected to continue to rise as Prince Mohammed viewed the stock offering as a critical component of “Vision 2030,” a program to diversify the Saudi economy and shift Aramco from an oil-producing company into a global industrial conglomerate.

Aramco had earlier announced retail subscriptions, as at November 28, clocked about 11.5 billion euros, with nearly five million subscribers and almost 1.5 billion shares sold exceeding the company’s target of one billion shares.

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