Ryad (AFP)

The Saudi oil giant Aramco announced Sunday to plan to introduce 1.5% of its capital on the stock exchange to Ryad, an operation that should earn him between $ 24 and 25.5 billion and values ​​the company at about 1.7 trillion dollars .

"The first offer will concern 1.5% of the shares of the company," said Aramco in a statement, which states that the range of the share price will be 30 to 32 riyals (between 8 and 8, $ 5).

The target has been revised downward compared to valuation at $ 2,000 billion a time targeted by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but the operation could still compete with the largest IPO of the history: that of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which raised $ 25 billion in New York in 2014.

Sunday marks the first day of the subscription period which will last until December 4th. The final price of the stock will be stopped on December 5, according to the prospectus published by the company a week ago.

Investors and experts were expecting an initial Aramco IPO plan with two components: the introduction of 2% of the capital on Tadawul, the benchmark index of the Ryad Stock Exchange, followed by the introduction of 3 % on an international stock market. But the company claimed that no plan for an introduction abroad was on the agenda at the moment.

Aramco, which produces about 10% of the world's oil, is considered the economic gem of the Saudi kingdom, the world's largest exporter of crude, and the mainstay of its economic and social stability.

Its IPO is the cornerstone of the Crown Prince's reform plan to diversify the economy of the ultra-dependent oil kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has made spectacular efforts to make this operation a success, prompting wealthy Saudi families and institutional actors to invest, some even calling the act a "patriotic duty."

But, despite an intense promotional campaign, there are reports of difficulties for Aramco to attract foreign institutional investors, with uncertain prospects for the energy sector and because of fears about the transparency and governance of the Saudi giant. .

© 2019 AFP