Aramco shares to make debut as biggest IPO gets bigger

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Updated 11 December 2019

Aramco shares to make debut as biggest IPO gets bigger

  • Samba Capital, NCB Capital and HSBC Saudi Arabia issued a statement late Monday
  • Saudi subscribers were allocated 96.6 percent of the retail offering

LONDON : Saudi Aramco shares make their stock market debut on Wednesday as it emerged that the oil giant could raise even more from its already record-breaking share sale.

Aramco will exercise its 15 percent “greenshoe option” either in part or in whole during the first 30 days of its trading period, its lead managers said.

A greenshoe option is financial jargon for a clause that allows an underwriter the right to sell investors more shares than planned if demand proves higher than anticipated.

Samba Capital, NCB Capital and HSBC Saudi Arabia issued a statement late Monday confirming an earlier report on the Al Arabiya news channel citing an NCB Capital executive.

It means the share sale could generate as much $29.4 billion if exercised fully. The main IPO raised $25.6 billion on Thursday.

Samba Capital said that the IPO was hugely oversubscribed, attracting aggregate subscriptions of SR446 billion, representing coverage of 465 percent.

The listing and trading of the company’s shares on Tadawul starts just four working days after the end of the subscription phase, Samba noted.

The number of individual subscribers was 5.056 million, who bought SR49.2 billion worth of shares.

Saudi subscribers were allocated 96.6 percent of the retail offering with non-Saudis (expatriates and GCC nationals) getting 3.4 percent. 

For the institutional tranche, the final value of subscriptions totaled SR397 billion.

The Saudi Aramco IPO is a key part of the Kingdom’s plan to transform its economy by reducing its reliance on oil, developing its financial markets and attracting increased levels of foreign direct investment.

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that the proceeds from Aramco’s IPO would be reinvested, helping to create more revenue channels for the government.

The Aramco IPO is expected to pave the way for more privatizations in the Kingdom.

“Privatization is at the top of the government’s priorities,” Al-Jadaan told reporters on Monday.

“We will continue to support big projects and will continue to support promising projects,” he said. “Enabling the private sector is the top priority of Vision 2030. We have more to come and our journey toward Vision 2030 demands


Iraq pledges full compliance with OPEC+ oil cuts

Updated 48 min 27 sec ago

Iraq pledges full compliance with OPEC+ oil cuts

  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, the Saudi Arabian energy minister, and his Iraqi counterpart, Ihsan Ismail, reaffirmed their commitment to the cuts
  • Under tough economic pressure, Iraq had struggled to meet the full cuts, but Ismail promised to reach 100 percent this month

DUBAI: Iraq has pledged to meet in full its obligations under the OPEC+ oil production cuts that have been credited with rebalancing global crude markets after the mayhem of April’s “Black Monday” when prices crashed around the world.

In a telephone call between Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, Saudi Arabian energy minister, and his Iraqi counterpart, Ihsan Ismail, the two men reaffirmed their commitment to the cuts, which have helped to pull the oil price back from historic lows.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, has more than doubled in the past three months.

Under tough economic pressure, Iraq had struggled to meet the full cuts, but Ismail promised to reach 100 percent this month. Iraq has now committed itself to an ambitious program of compensation to make up for past overproduction.

Iraq will further reduce production by 400,000 barrels per day this month and next, Ismail said, bringing its total cut to 1.25 million barrels daily. That level of cuts could be adjusted when final estimates of compliance are assessed by the six “secondary sources” that monitor OPEC+ output.

“The two ministers stressed that efforts by OPEC+ countries toward meeting production cuts, and the extra cuts under the compensation regime, will enhance oil market stability, help accelerate the rebalancing of global oil markets, and send a constructive signal to the market,” a joint statement added.

Prince Abdulaziz thanked Ismail for his efforts to improve Iraq’s compliance with the agreement.

Iraq had been the biggest laggard in the move toward 100 percent compliance by the 23 members of the OPEC+ alliance.

Officials in Riyadh told Arab News that Iraqi compliance had reached about 90 percent, a high level by the country’s previous standards but still short of the new targets.

Saudi Arabia has been forcefully advocating full compliance with the targets in an effort to remove oil from the global market as demand is still badly affected by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The oil market will be under the spotlight later this month when the joint ministerial monitoring committee of OPEC+ energy ministers convenes virtually in the most recent of the monthly meetings set up to oversee the state of the global industry.

Oil had another strong week on global markets, breaking through the $45 barrier for the first time since early March on signs that the glut in US oil stocks was easing, as well as reductions in the amount of “floating crude” stored in tankers on the world’s oceans.

The price spiked on news of the Beirut explosion, which some analysts believed could herald a deterioration in regional security and a threat to oil exports.

Brent crude was trading at $44.70 on international markets.