Aramco's IPO is set to be Saudi only after it reportedly scrapped its London roadshow

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo
  • Saudi Aramco has cancelled its London roadshow a day after scrapping its Asian and American ones, meaning its IPO is set to be a Saudi-only affair.
  • It will only market shares of the most profitable company in the world within the Kingdom, according to Bloomberg and the Financial Times.
  • The state-owned oil giant released its prospectus on Sunday, saying it will list 1.5% of its shares on the local Tadawul exchange in Riyadh, seeking a valuation of roughly $US1.7 trillion.
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Saudi Aramco has cancelled its London roadshow a day after scrapping Asian and American ones, meaning its IPO is set to be a Saudi-only affair, according to Bloomberg and the Financial Times.

It will now only market shares of the most profitable company in the world to local investors within the Kingdom.

The state-owned oil giant released its prospectus on Sunday, stating the company will list 1.5% of its shares on the local Tadawul exchange in Riyadh, seeking a valuation of roughly $US1.7 trillion.

The $US1.7 trillion figure would make Aramco the highest-valued public company in the world, with a much larger market capitalisation than Apple. However, it is well below the $US2 trillion Saudi officials previously targeted, marking a setback for Mohammad bin Salman, the country’s crown prince.

Last week, ex-CIA chief David Petraeus told CNBC in an interview that Saudi Arabia was running out of money to finance its Vision 2030 plan. Aramco’s mammoth IPO was expected to provide fresh funding, so the relatively lacklustre valuation could hamper efforts to shift the economy away from oil.

Saudi officials were reportedly seeking out the country’s billionaires to buy huge portions of the stock when it goes public.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia – the de facto leader of oil cartel OPEC – was pressing other members to cut oil production in the run-up to Aramco going public, to try and ensure the IPO succeeded.

The Financial Times also reported Saudi Aramco’s shares will be priced on December 5, with the IPO a week later.

The newspaper added that Saudi is looking to sell 1 billion shares of the company to “local retail shareholders” with a bonus share scheme if they hold on to the stock for a given period.


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