Saudi Aramco starts trading after record $25.6 billion IPO

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s oil company Aramco is listed and started trading on the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange on Wednesday for the first time after a mammoth $25.6 billion initial public offering that set the record as the biggest ever in history.

The state-owned company had announced a sale of 1.5% of its shares at 32 Saudi riyals a share, or what is $8.53.

At pre-trading auction earlier in the morning, Saudi Aramco’s shares reached 35.2 riyals, or $9.39 a share, according to Saudi state TV. That’s an increase of 10%, hitting the regulatory cap on daily increases or decreases for the stock. That pushes the company’s value up to $1.88 trillion.

At that price, Aramco is world’s most valuable listed company. That’s more than the top five oil companies — Exxon Mobil, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP — combined.

Trading for Aramco shares began at 10:30 am in Riyadh (7:30 GMT) on the Tadawul exchange in Riyadh.

Aramco is selling 0.5% of its shares to individual investors — most of whom are Saudi nationals — and 1% to institutional investors, most of which are Saudi or based in the Gulf.

The company has exclusive rights to produce and sell the kingdom’s energy reserves. It was founded in 1933 with America’s Standard Oil, and became full owned Saudi Arabia by 1980.

Reporting by Aya Batrawy

Image: This Sept. 15, 2019 file photo shows storage tanks at the North Jiddah bulk plant, an Aramco oil facility, in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

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