Saudi Aramco's bookrunners recommend IPO should be priced at top end

05 Décembre, 2019, 18:18 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Saudi Aramco's bookrunners recommend IPO should be priced at top end

Saudi Arabia's oil giant Aramco is assessing setting the final offer price of its initial public offering at the top of the indicative range, which would raise US$25.6 billion and surpass the current record for the biggest IPO ever, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, quoting people familiar with the discussions.

According to Bloomberg's sources, many Saudi fund managers have placed orders at the top end of Aramco's indicative range, expecting strong local demand to push the pricing to the highest level.

The deal could be the world's biggest IPO if it tops the $25 billion listing of China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in 2014.

Riyadh scaled back its original IPO plans, scrapping an worldwide roadshow to focus instead on marketing the offering to wealthy Gulf Arab allies.

The deal is the centrepiece of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plans to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil.

Aramco did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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The lead managers did not provide a breakdown of the institutional investors, but in a separate statement last week Samba Capital said the bulk of orders came from Saudi companies and funds, while foreign investors accounted for just 10.5% of the offers as of November 28.

The bookbuilding process for allocating shares to institutional buyers - typically asset managers, insurers or pension funds - began on November 17 and investors have until 1700 Saudi time on December 4 to place orders.

The final allocation will also be announced on Thursday.

The retail tranche, which closed on Nov 28, attracted bids worth 47.4 billion riyals, equivalent to around 1.5 times the number of shares offered.

Saudi Arabia will be offering up to 0.5 percent in Aramco to retail investors, while in total the Kingdom plans to list 1.5 percent of the company on the Saudi stock exchange, the Tadawul.

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