Saudi Aramco’s IPO value could rise to $29.4 billion: Banker

John Benny, Al Arabiya English

The proceeds from Saudi Aramco’s record initial public offering could rise to $29.4 billion should the oil giant exercise an option to sell 15 percent more stock, Wassim al-Khatib, Head of Investment Banking at National Commercial Bank said on Monday.

Al-Khatib said the so-called greenshoe option – a provision that grants the underwriter the right to sell more shares – could be implemented.

Non-Saudi Arabian investors were allocated 23 percent of the institutional portion of Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO), al-Khatib added.

Pension funds received an allocation equivalent to 11.5 percent of the Aramco IPO institutional tranche, al-Khatib said.

The energy giant has been offering 1.5 percent, or three billion, of the company’s shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). A third of those shares, 0.5 percent, were allocated to retail, or individual investors.

On Thursday, Aramco set the price per share at 32 riyals ($8.53), at the top end of its indicative price range of 30-32 riyals.

At $8.53 per share, the company would raise $25.6 billion from the IPO, making it the world's largest IPO, topping Alibaba's 2014 listing, which raised $25 billion.

At this level, Aramco would have a market valuation of $1.7 trillion, overtaking Apple Inc as the most valuable listed firm.

The company is expected to list its shares on the Tadawul later this week.

FAQ's

Saudi Aramco is the Kingdom’s state-owned energy company and the world’s biggest oil producer. In November, the company reported a profit of $68 billion for the first nine months of 2019 – making it the most profitable company in the world.
An initial public offering (IPO) is the process by which a company sells a portion of its ownership (shares) to public investors to raise funds (also known as capital). The company sells its shares by listing them on a public stock exchange, where investors can purchase them.
"I am honored to announce that Saudi Aramco will become a listed company on the Saudi Stock Exchange,” Chairman Yassir al-Rumayyan said in early November. The exact percentage of the company and the possibility of another listing on a foreign exchange are both still unknown details, however.
Senior Saudi Arabian authorities have targeted a $2 trillion valuation. At this valuation, a 5 percent listing would raise $100 billion in funds – dwarfing any other IPO in history. However, some analysts and investment banks have predicted a range closer to between $1.2 and $1.5 trillion.
The IPO prospectus is expected to be released on November 10, with pricing expected November 17. Meanwhile, the float is expected to take place on December 4, followed by trading on December 11.
The IPO is part of Saudi Arabia’s overall strategy to transition into a post-hydrocarbon age. The income generated would be funneled into the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF). Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plans to transform the PIF into a giant investment vehicle to help the country diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on oil revenues.
Saudi Vision 2030 is the Kingdom’s ambitious plan to diversify its economy by reducing dependence on oil and developing non-oil sectors ranging from healthcare to mining. The IPO is seen as a cornerstone of Vision 2030, boosting the PIF as the long-term investment vehicle for the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

- The Crown Prince is the architect of Vision 2030 and originally announced plans to list shares of Saudi Aramco in 2016.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister

- Prince Abdulaziz assumed the role of energy minister in September of this year, replacing Khalid al-Falih.

Yasir al-Rumayyan, Chairman, Aramco

- Al-Rumayyan became chairman of Aramco’s board in September. He is best known as governor of the PIF, a role he continues to hold.

Amin Nasser, President and CEO, Aramco

- Nasser has been with Aramco for more than three decades and has held numerous leadership positions.