German taxpayers to bear unpaid Airbus loan to develop A380 superjumbo jet: report

Germany loaned Airbus €942 million in 2002 in connection with the A380’s development, of which only a third has been repaid. (AFP)
Updated 04 March 2019

German taxpayers to bear unpaid Airbus loan to develop A380 superjumbo jet: report

  • Airbus last month said it would scrap the A380, producing and delivering only 17 more by 2021
  • Emirates — the largest A380 customer — reduced its orders for the superjumbo after an engine dispute and a broader fleet review

FRANKFURT: German taxpayers could be left more than $680 million (€600 million) out of pocket in outstanding credit to Airbus for developing the A380 superjumbo, the Funke Mediengruppe will report on Monday citing an economy ministry statement, excerpts approved for release showed.
Berlin loaned Airbus €942 million in 2002 in connection with the A380’s development, of which only a third has been repaid, the media group cited the statement as saying.
The ministry issued the statement in reply to a parliamentary question from the opposition liberal party (FDP), it said.
Airbus last month said it would scrap the A380, producing and delivering only 17 more by 2021, because customers preferred smaller and nimbler jets.
This came after Emirates — the largest A380 customer — was forced to reduce its orders for the superjumbo after an engine dispute and a broader fleet review.
Repayments are due successively once planes are delivered, meaning the premature end of the production pipeline will leave some parts of the loan unpaid, the media group reported.
Deputy economy minister Ulrich Nussbaum was quoted as saying the handling of the loan issues was still being analyzed and would then be discussed with the company.


Saudi Aramco shares soar at maximum 10% on market debut

Updated 11 December 2019

Saudi Aramco shares soar at maximum 10% on market debut

  • Company is now world’s largest publicly traded company, bigger than Apple

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco shares opened at 35.2 riyals ($9.39) on Wednesday at the Kingdom’s stock exchange, 10 percent above their IPO price of 32 riyals, in their first day of trading following a record $26.5 billion initial public offering.
Aramco has earlier priced its IPO at 32 riyals ($8.53) per share, the high end of the target range, surpassing the $25 billion raised by Chinese retail giant Alibaba in its 2014 Wall Street debut.
Aramco’s earlier indicative debut price was seen at 35.2 riyals, 10 per cent above IPO price, raising the company’s valuation to $1.88 trillion, Refintiv data showed.
At that price, Aramco is world’s most valuable listed company. That’s more than the top five oil companies – Exxon Mobil, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP – combined.
“Today Aramco will become the largest listed company in the world and (Tadawul) among the top ten global financial markets,” Sarah Al-Suhaimi, chairwoman of the Saudi Arabian stock exchange, said during a ceremony marking the oil giant’s first day of trading.
“Aramco today is the largest integrated oil and gas company in the world. Before Saudi Arabia was the only shareholder of the company, now there are 5 million shareholders including citizens, residents and investors,” said Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the managing director and chief executive of the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
“Aramco’s IPO will enhance the company’s governance and strengthen its standards.”
Amin Nasser, the president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, meanwhile thanked the new shareholders for their confidence and trust of the oil company.
The sale of 1.5 percent of the firm, or three billion shares, is the bedrock of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious strategy to overhaul the oil-reliant economy.
Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange earlier said it will hold an opening auction for Aramco shares for an hour from 9:30 a.m. followed by continuous trading, with price changes limited to plus or minus 10 percent.

The company said Friday it could exercise a “greenshoe” option, selling additional shares to bring the total raised up to $29.4 billion.
The market launch puts the oil behemoth’s value at $1.7 trillion, far ahead of other firms in the trillion-dollar club, including Apple and Microsoft.
Two-thirds of the shares were offered to institutional investors. Saudi government bodies accounted for 13.2 percent of the institutional tranche, investing around $2.3 billion, according to lead IPO manager Samba Capital.
The IPO is a crucial part of Prince Mohammed’s plan to wean the economy away from oil by pumping funds into megaprojects and non-energy industries such as tourism and entertainment.
Watch the video marking Aramco’s opening trading: