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FILE PHOTO: An employee rides a bicycle next to oil tanks at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: An employee rides a bicycle next to oil tanks at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

New Saudi Aramco share offering to raise $11.2 billion

RIYADH: Saudi oil giant Aramco on Friday said it would price its secondary offering at 27.25 Saudi riyals ($7.27) per share, in the lower end of its range, allowing it to raise $11.2 billion. The mostly state-owned jewel of the Saudi economy announced last week it would sell 1.545 billion shares, or approximately 0.64 percent of its issued shares, on the Saudi stock exchange.

The move follows an initial public offering in December 2019 that raised $25.6 billion, the biggest flotation in history, and will offer a short-term boost to Saudi Arabia’s finances as the Gulf kingdom builds large-scale projects including resorts and stadiums as part of ambitious economic reforms.

The share price announced on Friday, disclosed in a statement to the Saudi stock exchange, is at the low end of the range of 26.70 to 29 Saudi riyals ($7 to $7.70) announced last week.

It follows days of book-building for investors inside and outside the kingdom, allowing officials to gauge demand. About 10 percent of the shares were offered to retail investors from Monday. “The retail offering was fully subscribed and received a total of 1,331,915 subscribers,” Friday’s statement from Aramco said. — AFP

Trading of the newly offered shares is set to begin Sunday. Aramco ended trading on Thursday at 28.30 Saudi riyals per share, giving it a market capitalization of around $1.83 trillion. The share price announced on Friday would value the firm at around $1.76 trillion. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest crude oil exporter and currently owns 82.18 percent of Aramco’s shares. It was unclear on Friday how much investor demand has come from outside Saudi Arabia. -- AFP

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