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Aramco raised $ 25.6 billion and priced its shares

2019-12-06T11:47:06.264Z



Saudi Aramco has announced that it has decided to price its shares in its initial public offering at 32 riyals ($ 8.5), the upper limit of the benchmark.

The company raised $ 25.6 billion from the IPO, which ended on June 4.

Institutions subscribed for $ 106 billion, while retail investors subscribed for $ 13 billion, the company said.

Aramco relied on local and regional investors to sell a 1.5 percent stake after international institutions, despite a low estimate of $ 1.7 trillion, shied away from the $ 2 trillion sought by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Aramco canceled promotional tours in New York and London, focusing instead on marketing a 1.5% stake to Saudi investors and Gulf Arab allies.

Saudi banks have already offered citizens low interest in bidding for shares, and Riyadh has not said anything about when or where Aramco would be listed abroad.

Families among the richest in Saudi Arabia have also been pushed to invest, particularly Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was among those held at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh during a campaign against corruption in 2017.

Aramco's IPO is the cornerstone of Mohammed bin Salman's economic reform program known as Vision 2030.

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Fears
Observers believe that the attack on Aramco in mid-September, led to growing fears of global investors about the Kingdom's ability to protect one of the most important global energy facilities.

Some investors question whether their voice could be heard amid the Saudi government's dominance of the company, while others consider Aramco to be overvalued compared to competitors such as ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell or even Chevron.

Karen Young, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, said the IPO was about "making its debut before the international investor community."

Young said attracting foreign investment has become more difficult for Saudi Arabia after reaching a high level of capital outflow in 2017.

In the same year, Prince Mohammed launched an anti-corruption campaign that led to the arrest of dozens of current and former princes and politicians on corruption charges, before the vast majority were released after financial compromises.

"The atmosphere of regional political risk, Saudi foreign policy options and the suppression of political dissent have likely weakened the enthusiasm of investors," Young said.

Saudi Arabia faced mounting international criticism after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, as well as for the detention of human rights activists.

Adding to this is the growing tension between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran and a series of attacks on oil tankers and missile attacks on oil installations, according to Agence France-Presse.

Source: aljazeera

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