Investment and energy experts welcome ‘sensible’ Saudi Aramco IPO valuation

Experts said the Aramco valuation was justified by the financial metrics. (Saudi Aramco)
Updated 18 November 2019

Investment and energy experts welcome ‘sensible’ Saudi Aramco IPO valuation

  • Price regarded as a sensible compromise and that it will sell the IPO
  • Experts said the Aramco valuation was justified by the financial metrics

DUBAI: Investment professionals and energy experts delivered a mainly enthusiastic response to the pricing of shares in Saudi Aramco and the overall valuation of the biggest oil company in the world at between $1.6 trillion and $1.7 trillion.

Al Mal Capital, a Dubai-based investment bank, said that it was positive on the Aramco initial public offering (IPO) on that kind of valuation, which it said was justified by the financial metrics.

“We believe Aramco’s IPO is a central pillar of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. In our view, the broader privatization of state assets will likely accelerate the flow of foreign capital into the Kingdom, improve liquidity and transparency as well as continue to help diversify its economy away from its dependency on oil. While many investors were skeptical about the ability of Saudi Arabia to roll out its ambitious agenda, they seem to be right on track.”

Tarek Fadhallah, chief executive officer of Nomura Asset Management in the Middle East, said via Twitter: “My first impression is that the price is a sensible compromise and that it will sell the IPO. Aramco should easily raise the $8.5bn from retail investors but the 29 global coordinators, managers and financial advisers will need to find the other $17 billion. A few billion from China would help.”

Robin Mills, chief executive of the Qamar Energy consultancy, said; “I think it’s a reasonable compromise. The price is well above most independent valuations but well below the aspirational price. It implies dividend yields a bit lower than the super-majors (the independent oil companies), but a similar price earnings ratio (the measure of the share price rated according to profits). Retail and local investors should be sufficient. We’ll have to see about the foreign investors.”

Ellen Wald, energy markets consultant and author of the book Saudi, Inc., said American investor would still be undecided on the IPO. 

“Remember, investors don’t put money in because they think the value is accurate. Smart investors put money in because they think the value will rise. It all depends on whether they see signs the price will rise during their time frame.”

American oil finance expert David Hodson, managing director of BluePearl Management, said: “This valuation seems to be more reasonable based on the fundamentals. Potential investors in Western markets will base their decision on cold hard facts like dividends and growth prospects. From what we now know, Aramco is offering them a compelling investment proposition to consider.”

 

 


Finance shake-up with Saudi derivatives market to launch in Q3

Updated 3 min 13 sec ago

Finance shake-up with Saudi derivatives market to launch in Q3

  • Launch of futures contracts to be made before the end of the third quarter of this year

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) plans to launch a derivatives exchange in the latest move to modernize the Kingdom’s financial landscape.

An announcement about the launch of futures contracts will be made before the end of the third quarter of this year, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported, citing CMA Chairman Mohammed El-Kuwaiz.

“We are in the phase of developing the derivatives market with intensive work on the options contracts and the futures contracts” he said.

He was speaking in an online discussion panel organized by the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monshaat).

The markets chief said that the impact of the coronavirus on the market would be more visible in second quarter earnings and that the regulator was working on easing some of its procedures in response.

Tadawul is planning to launch additional derivative products gradually as part of its strategy to diversify its product offering and provide more investment opportunities for global investors.

Separately, Tadawul CEO Khalid Al-Hussan disclosed that the bourse has received a number of requests for new share offerings that are currently being reviewed. He said three companies had been approved to list on the parallel market known as “Nomu.”

 

 

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Derivative

A derivative is a financial instrument that acts as contract between two or more parties whose value is based on an agreed-upon underlying asset such as a stock or a bond.