Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

Saudi Aramco takes another step toward 1st public offering

Saudi Aramco unveils plans to kick off blockbuster float next week Saudi Aramco prospectus confirms offer up to 0.5% of shares to individual investors
Russell Knight | 10 November, 2019, 20:40

Bidding for shares in the world's most profitable company will start in one week, it has been announced.

But China, the world's top oil importer, may commit as much as $10 billion through sovereign wealth funds and other state-owned enterprises, Bloomberg News reported.

Japanese companies are unlikely to invest in Saudi Aramco's blockbuster initial public offering (IPO) because it is hard to evaluate the value of the world's biggest oil company, the head of Japan's largest refiner said on Friday. Buying and selling may begin off as quickly as December 11, in line with level out-connected media. Aramco will worth its shares on December 5, in line with the doc.

"The price at which all subscribers in the offering will purchase shares, the number of shares to be sold and the percentage of the shares to be sold will be determined at the end of the book-building process", Saudi Aramco said. Similarly, the Saudi government will not offer any additional shares during the 12-month period after listing but retains the right to sell to foreign governments or investors affiliated with foreign governments. The company reiterated plans to pay out an annual dividend of at least $75 billion starting in 2020 and signaled that increases as well as special dividends could follow over time.

The IPO represents the cornerstone of powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030", aimed at leading the world's biggest crude exporter away from oil. Brent crude shut Friday at all-around $62 a barrel.

Bankers have told the Saudi government that investors will likely value the company at around $1.5 trillion, below the $2 trillion valuation touted by Prince Mohammed when he first floated the idea of an IPO almost four years ago.

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If 0.5 percent is offered, that equates to $20 billion to $23 billion received in the Public Investment Fund.

Aramco has countered the claims with data that a spokesperson said showed that it had the smallest carbon footprint of any of the oil majors per unit of output.

But the 600-page prospectus did not say how much of the Saudi firm would be sold, nor the date of the listing.

The prospectus noted that the Saudi government ultimately decides the country's level of crude oil production.

The document also highlighted risks including the potential for terrorist attacks, the possibility of antitrust legislation and climate change concerns that could reduce global demand for hydrocarbons.

Aramco's income also depends on the price of oil which has fluctuated sharply since mid-2014 from a monthly average of $112 a barrel in June 2014 to a monthly average of $31.9 a barrel in January 2016.

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