Saudi Aramco shares rise 10% on Riyadh debut, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Saudi Aramco shares rise 10% on Riyadh debut

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RIYADH/DUBAI : Saudi Aramco shares surged the maximum permitted 10 per cent above their initial public offering (IPO) price on their Riyadh stock market debut yesterday, in a move hailed by the government as a vindication of its towering US$2 trillion (S$2.7 trillion) valuation of the state oil company.

The shares leapt to 35.2 riyals (S$13) each, up from the IPO price of 32 riyals and at the daily limit of price moves allowed by the Tadawul exchange.

That gives Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) a market value of about US$1.88 trillion, making it the world's most valuable listed company and closing in on the US$2 trillion price tag coveted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"It is a great day for Saudi Arabia and the leadership of Saudi Arabia and for the people of Saudi Arabia. It is a D-Day for Aramco, it is a day of reckoning and vindication," Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said.

Aramco raised a record US$25.6 billion in its IPO last week, the culmination of a years-long effort by the Crown Prince to open up the energy giant to outside investors and raise funds to help diversify the economy away from oil.

Prince Abdulaziz said last week that Aramco was worth well over its IPO valuation of US$1.7 trillion and predicted that investors who did not buy into the offering would be "chewing their thumbs" after missing out.

The flotation propels the Riyadh bourse into the world's top 10 by value of listed companies. - REUTERS