‘Source of pride’ as investors scramble for Saudi Aramco shares

Saudi Arabian and international investors have subscribed to the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco in huge numbers. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 November 2019

‘Source of pride’ as investors scramble for Saudi Aramco shares

  • Institutional orders in the IPO included 54% from Saudi cooperates, 24.1% from Saudi funds and 10.5% from non-Saudi investors
  • The subscription period for institutional investors remains open to Dec. 4

DUBAI: Saudi Arabian and international investors have subscribed to the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco in huge numbers, with demand for shares in the world’s most profitable company exceeding the number of shares on offer.
Financial advisers to the biggest IPO in history announced that bids to the value of $44.3bn (166.275bn riyals) have been received in total from institutional and private investors for the $25.6bn worth of shares on offer.
With the order books open to institutions until next Wednesday, that means the IPO will definitely be the biggest in financial history, and should, in theory, lead to a jump in the share price when trading starts on Tadawul the following week.
Institutional demand for the shares even bigger than from private individuals. Corporates in the Kingdom account for more than half (54 percent) of the bid value, with Saudi funds and investment institutions comprising another big chunk (24.1 percent).
Non-Saudi investors are looking for 10 percent of the offer - a comparatively big figure given the fact the IPO was not marketed outside the region.
Rania Nashar, deputy chairman of Samba Capital, one of the advisers, said the IPO was “a source of pride” for the Kingdom.
“It is an indication of success and a signal of confidence, further bolstering the reputation and prestige of a company that has unrivaled standing globally in the energy sector. This success corroborates the foresight and depth of the strategic decision behind this landmark moment not just in Aramco’s history, but also in the development of the Kingdom’s economy,” she added.
Sarah Al Suhaimi, chief executive officer of NCB Capital and chair of the Tadawul where Aramco will be listed, said: “The success of the retail tranche is mirrored in the institutional tranche where bids reflect strong demand coming from across the spectrum of investor categories, reflective of Saudi Aramco’s compelling investment proposition.
“We are confident that this will be maintained throughout the remainder of the institutional book-building period. This institutional demand also speaks well of the depth and diversification of the Saudi capital markets and its investor base,” she added.


At Davos, innovative products point to a sustainable future

Updated 24 January 2020

At Davos, innovative products point to a sustainable future

  • A single tree that to bear 40 different types of apple

DAVOS: The World Economic Forum is not all about the fourth industrial revolution or the rise of AI.

You can also find all manner of strange and intriguing products on display from biodegradable plastic made from algae to wallpaper made from recycled corn husks.

One stand titled “How do you design a tree?” is part of a conservation effort where a single tree is designed to bear 40 different types of apple.

Another stand displays colored seaweed on a rack, showing how clothes can be dyed in a sustainable, non-chemically corrosive manner.

Propped along a large wall is Fernando Laposse’s wallpaper made of variations of purple corn husks that are reinforced with recycled cardboard and cork to create wallpaper and furniture. The husks come from corn that needs very little water and can be grown in the desert, which makes it all the more sustainable.

“This initiative helps the local economy as it brings in jobs and a resurgence of crafts and food traditions while also ensuring sustainability,” Laposse said.

Another display shows a machine that extracts pellets from a mixture of algae and starch and is used to create a thread that is the base of 3D printing. These sustainable, biodegradable plastics made from algae are being experimented with in different regions.

With the rise of deep fakes — a branch of synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness — another stand delivers a warning on the looming dangers of unregulated software.

The Davos forum prides itself on its sustainability, and key topics have included climate, mobility, energy and the circular economy. Everything is recyclable, and participants must download an application in order to keep up with the program and any changes — a move to cut down on paper waste.