Aramco shares to make debut as biggest IPO gets bigger

Aramco shares to make debut as biggest IPO gets bigger
Aramco shares to make debut as biggest IPO gets bigger

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - LONDON : Saudi Aramco shares make their stock market debut on Wednesday as it emerged that the oil giant could raise even more from its already record-breaking share sale.

Aramco will exercise its 15 percent “greenshoe option” either in part or in whole during the first 30 days of its trading period, its lead managers said.

A greenshoe option is financial jargon for a clause that allows an underwriter the right to sell investors more shares than planned if demand proves higher than anticipated.

Samba Capital, NCB Capital and HSBC Saudi Arabia issued a statement late Monday confirming an earlier report on the Al Arabiya news channel citing an NCB Capital executive.

It means the share sale could generate as much $29.4 billion if exercised fully. The main IPO raised $25.6 billion on Thursday.

Samba Capital said that the IPO was hugely oversubscribed, attracting aggregate subscriptions of SR446 billion, representing coverage of 465 percent.

The listing and trading of the company’s shares on Tadawul starts just four working days after the end of the subscription phase, Samba noted.

The number of individual subscribers was 5.056 million, who bought SR49.2 billion worth of shares.

Saudi subscribers were allocated 96.6 percent of the retail offering with non-Saudis (expatriates and GCC nationals) getting 3.4 percent. 

For the institutional tranche, the final value of subscriptions totaled SR397 billion.

The Saudi Aramco IPO is a key part of the Kingdom’s plan to transform its economy by reducing its reliance on oil, developing its financial markets and attracting increased levels of foreign direct investment.

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that the proceeds from Aramco’s IPO would be reinvested, helping to create more revenue channels for the government.

The Aramco IPO is expected to pave the way for more privatizations in the Kingdom.

“Privatization is at the top of the government’s priorities,” Al-Jadaan told reporters on Monday.

“We will continue to support big projects and will continue to support promising projects,” he said. “Enabling the private sector is the top priority of Vision 2030. We have more to come and our journey toward Vision 2030 demands

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