Saudi Arabia kicks off IPO of world's biggest oil company

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on November 4, 2019 - Duration: 01:52s

Saudi Arabia kicks off IPO of world's biggest oil company

Saudi Aramco started its initial public offering on Sunday, seven weeks after crippling attacks on its oil facilities.

David Doyle reports.

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Saudi Arabia kicks off IPO of world's biggest oil company

Saudi Arabia kick-started an initial public offering of the world's largest oil company on Sunday (November 3), three years after a listing of Saudi Aramco was first flagged, and just seven weeks after crippling attacks on its oil facilities.

Chief executive Amin Nasser called it a "truly historic" day, adding that the company would be listed on the local bourse.

The IPO will be split into two tranches, one each for institutional and individual investors - but Aramco did not give a time frame or reveal how much of the company would be sold, saying that would be determined after the bookbuilding period.

Sources say Aramco could offer 1%-2% of its shares, raising as much as $20 billion to $40 billion.

The company is valued by bankers and company insiders at around $1.5 trillion - 50% more than the world's most valuable listed companies, Microsoft and

Class="kln">Apple.

A sale of 2% of Aramco's shares at that valuation would be the biggest IPO of all time, beating Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's record-breaking 2014 IPO.

The aim is to raise billions of dollars as a part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's push to diversify Saudi Arabia's economy away from oil.

The kingdom's reliance on black gold was emphasized by the September 14 attacks which shut off about 5% of global supply, and also raised questions about the vulnerability of Aramco's oil facilities amid deepening regional tensions.

On Sunday, Aramco said it does not expect the attacks - which Riyadh blamed on regional foe Iran - to have a material impact on its finances and operations.

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